Dress for Dinner – The New Indian Express

Express press service

BENGALURU: The city’s elite country clubs are known to be the only places with strict dress codes. Now, the city’s newest restaurants and bars are joining the bandwagon and implementing diner code based on the vibe and mood of the space.

In the past week, trendy new bar 10 Speakeasy has had to turn away at least seven to eight guests. The reason? Outfit. Smart casual or semi-formal outfits, and not to mention closed shoes, are an essential element for men to enter the space. While country clubs are known to be the only places with strict dress codes, new restaurants and bars in town are also implementing similar rules. “We have had a dress code since day one. We try to bring a bit of culture to the experience,” says Preetham Bhaskar, partner at 10 Speakeasy, which opened May 19.

Opposite 10 Speakeasy is Olive Bar and Kitchen, which also insists on a certain code at certain times of the day. They inform customers of the dress code at the time of booking. “During the day, we greet customers with shorts and flip flops because the place has a beach vibe. However, from dinner, we have several corporate meetings, and the place also turns into an elegant place. Therefore, we have a dress code that men should refrain from wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts and flip flops. Instead, they are expected to dress in smart casual attire,” says Ashwin D’souza, Vice President, Operations, Olive Bar & Kitchen.

With the word ‘smart’ being all the rage these days, restaurants in Bangalore also expect their customers to dress accordingly. Take, for example, Gatsby Cocktails and Cuisines on Bannerghatta Road, which implemented a dress code from the first weekend since its launch in February. According to Nikhil Sharma, general manager of the restaurant, the dress code is only applicable between Friday and Sunday, while it remains casual the rest of the day. “Gatsby is neither a party place nor a casual restaurant. We believe that guests should be appropriately dressed to blend in with the surroundings,” says Sharma.

Slippers and flip flops are a big no-no at most of these restaurants, including Brassa on St Mark’s Road where men are only required to wear closed shoes. But how do they refuse guests who are not properly dressed? The key to handling the situation is to be polite and communicate the rules with a smile, restaurants say. MisoSexy, a newly launched pan-Asian cocktail bar in Indiranagar, is toeing the line diplomatically. They inform these guests that a private party is taking place and that they cannot be allowed to enter. “Some get the hint and come back the same day better dressed, while many realize and adhere to the code the next time around.” says Eshaan Mehta, Managing Director, MisoSexy.

According to Bhaskar, the guests are selected for their attire at the reception by their leaders. “Although we would like to serve all guests who come through our door, we refuse them and inform them of the dress code. Often they come back, dressed according to our dress code policy,” says Bhaskar.
In fact, Olive has even earned a loyal customer thanks to her strict dress code. “Once we got a head start and gave a guest new pants to get into our restaurant. This disgruntled guest has become one of our regular guests,” says D’souza.

Gatsby has trained her hostesses in social etiquette to handle those situations that could lead to an argument. “It’s about how it’s transmitted. Guests also understand the importance of being dressed appropriately to dine in,” he says.

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