Murphy’s Law Irish Pub in Rochester, N.Y. has sparked outrage and debate online after a local patron posted the bar’s dress code to his Facebook page.
Herbert Smith tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he was left feeling some way about the questionable dress code that’s posted in the front window, so he took to social media to share the long list of items that can’t be worn inside the pub.
A friend of mine showed me this pic. I'm not sure what to think of this.
“I post a lot of stuff on Facebook, so I thought a few of my friends would chime in,” he says. “But what happened next I was not expecting.”
Nearly 200 comments later, Smith quickly realized he wasn’t alone in feeling that the bar is enforcing a “racist” dress policy.
The restrictions include straight-brim caps, hoodies, bandanas, white tees, and Timberland work boots. Multiple commenters said the list was “Code for no black people,” one person wrote.
“Racist. Hands-down,” said another.
“My problem isn’t the dress code. It’s the fact that Murphy’s Law only enforces the dress code for people of color,” someone pointed out. “I tried to go there a few years back and they denied me entrance because of my outfit but there was a group of white people that had on similar outfits like the one I had on.”
Smith says the response to his post should send a clear message Murphy’s Law Irish Pub.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” he says. “The comments streamed in. People were very passionate about it on either side of the spectrum. To me, the act of posting that dress code, without any prompting, and seeing the response which ensued, warrants a change.”
As for the change that Smith wants to see happen: “I would like to see the fashion do’s rather than the fashion don’ts,” he suggests. “What do they want people to look like, rather than what do they not want them to look like. I’ve been getting inquiries of ‘Am I trying to get more black people into these clubs?’ I’m not! I just feel in this day and age you should not be able to post something with that type of negative undercurrent on the front of your pub.”
Murphy’s Law Irish Pub responded to the controversy via a statement about the dress code posted on its Facebook page:
“Our dress code policy was put into place 9 years ago. The dress code was adopted after reviewing what many other successful bars, clubs & restaurants from around the area and country had already put in place. We have been a big part of the East End and Rochester community for over 9 years and are looking forward to many more. Murphy’s Law and our employees welcome all patrons local and out of town through our doors.”
Some social media users defended the dress code, saying the bar simply wants patrons “to show up in more classy attire.”
“Not that hard can get a whole outfit that looks good at Macy’s for like $80,” one commenter wrote.