A new rooftop bar in Charlotte, North Carolina, is being criticized for the way they are enforcing their dress code against Black patrons.
Many customers have taken their concerns to social media, expressing that Novelty House has repeatedly turned away people of color for donning attire that white customers were allowed to wear.
Tasha McCaskiel is one customer who witnessed the discrimination firsthand. McCaskiel posted a video to her Instagram account detailing her experience at the establishment after one of her Black male friends was denied entrance for wearing shorts.
“It turns out that they discriminate against Black men,” she captioned the video.
McCaskiel said that her friend was wearing shorts and went to change into jeans, since she noticed other patrons wearing them. After going to change into jeans in his car, she says he was denied entry yet again.
She then spoke with management about why he was being turned away, and she said a manager told her they can do as they please based on “their discretion.”
“He says that he has the right to pretty much not let anyone in based on his discretion,” McCaskiel told WCNC Charlotte. “When you use a dress code as an excuse to exclude certain people and you’re just making up rules, that’s a problem.”
Managing partner Ian Jones addressed the backlash by updating the dress code on the establishment’s website with “Do’s and Don’ts.”
“We’ve been open for less than a week and there’s definitely been some confusion about our dress code, so we have posted some guidelines on our website to help customers better understand our expectations,” Jones, who is Black, said, Axios Charlotte reports.
After sharing her experience on social media, McCaskiel realized that she experienced a small part of a recurring problem.
“I actually went to this bar on Saturday and saw a man of color dressed in very decent attire turned away,” one patron told Blavity. “Meanwhile, I was in ripped jean shorts with friends who were wearing similar outfits and was granted entrance. We immediately left after walking inside because it wasn’t welcoming to Black people and on our way out, we encountered the Black managing partner, who was very dismissive and cold toward us.”