A Sushi Restaurant's 'Sexy Shoe Policy' Has Backfired

So you finally managed to snag a reservation at that always-sold-out fancy new restaurant. Is there an unspoken fashion etiquette that you're expected to know about, or would it be perfectly acceptable to rock up in sweatpants, a jersey, and sneakers?

Restaurant dress codes have been a matter of debate for several years. Some restaurant owners tell the Chicago Tribune that having a formal dress code adds to the overall ambiance of the place. Eater, however, points out that dress codes can often be classist and racist, especially when left to the staff's ambiguous discretion. Not to mention the problem that arises when restaurants designate gender-specific attires, like jackets for men and dresses for women. As the San Francisco Chronicle points out, what should an individual who doesn't identify with either of the binary genders be wearing to dinner?

Now, the internet is calling out a UK sushi restaurant for trying to enforce a sexist dress code. According to Mirror, the Beluga Bar was set to open in Letterhead, Surrey with a sushi menu that starts at £7 ($9.48) for a small plate of edamame and charges £45 ($60) for caviar. Days before its opening, the sushi bar posted its T&Cs on Facebook, and right there in fine print is the infamous dress code that has Beluga being "canceled" before it even opens.

The internet is calling Beluga out for its sexist dress code

Per the T&Cs, entry to the ritzy sushi bar is "strictly invite-only." If the staff deems a guest lucky enough to be granted an invite, the dress code asks that men wear jackets and women wear "skinny jeans with sexy black ankle-strap heels with a form-fitting top" (via Mirror). Oddly specific shoe request aside, Beluga generously offers "midi or bodycon" dresses as an alternative but strictly forbids tracksuits, t-shirts, shorts, flip flops, hoodies, and sportswear.

While the restaurant appears to have deleted the dress code post and has since published an apology on Instagram admitting that the policy was "inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive," the internet is having none of it. Users are taking to commenting on the restaurant's other social media posts to call out their dress code for what it is. 

"Oh yummy...for starters I'll have a Gyoza followed by a PR Disaster Steak; medium/well please, with a side portion of Sleaze," one person wrote, while another wondered "What self-respecting woman would ever want to set foot in your restaurant?!" Another user says, "when we want advice on what to wear, we'll let you know, meanwhile stick to serving up your overpriced and over rated grub." Yikes! It seems like Beluga is quickly finding out that there may indeed be such a thing as bad publicity after all.