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Jun 24, 2009 11:42 AM

What happened to the post regarding dress code in NOLA restaurants? - moved from New Orleans board

I read a post yesterday by N.O. Food, regarding the decline of the dress code in local restaurants. He made an important point, and I must stress that whether you are traveling to NOLA, NY, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Phoenix etc., it is important to wear proper attire for each restaurant you plan to visit, be it business casual or jacket required. In this day and age almost every restaurant has a website and the dress code is usually stated. When in doubt, check with the restaurant directly. Nothing is worse than planning for a special evening out and dressing to the nines, only to encounter people wearing vulgar t's and cut-off shorts in the same restaurant esp. when that particular restaurant has a dress code. If that is the attire you choose, get food to go, or simply choose a sports bar or more casual enviroment. There are numerous bars and restaurants around NOLA where a great many of the patrons are wearing shorts and t-shirts, so if that is what you wear, choose accordingly. SAme goes for any city. It is also the responsibility of the restaurant to enforce a dress code, but in these difficult financial times, it may be hard to turn people away when the restaurant industry is suffering. If they choose to be more "downscale" than perhaps they should consider a change in dress code to attract patrons from all walks of life who desire to dine at their restaurant. I just think it is disrespectful to the restaurant, as well as to the other patrons to choose not to honor a dress code. It mars the dining experience for everyone.

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  1. I could have written that post. I agree with every word. I don't care if you feel like wearing shorts and flip-flops to K-Pauls. Go somewhere else.

    1. I just think it is disrespectful to the restaurant, as well as to the other patrons to choose not to honor a dress code. It mars the dining experience for everyone.

      Welcome to the *me* can always tell which side of the fence people sit on with regards to the issue of dress codes. For the most part, people who feel you can wear anything, especially tees, jeans and sandals fall into the acceptable crowd. People who honor specific dress codes fall into the appropriate crowd.

      On a similar not, there is a hugely popular bar in in Manasquan, NJ that recently barred any patron from wearing any flip flops or sandals without a strap that wraps around the back of the ankle. Many considered this policy quite extreme, given this bar is a dive shore bar. The reasons necessary for the policy were the fact someone had stepped on the back of a girl's flip flops and she tumble down a few steps. I do not know if there were any serious injuries, but I am sure the bar was just implementing steps to avoid further injury and litigation.

      1. Specifically with regards to Commanders Palace, I understand and love that a jacket is required. But my question is what is appropriate for lunch?

        I'm going to be sightseeing during the day, and will most likely be wearing a polo, jeans, and nice sneakers. Is this too casual for a Friday lunch?

        12 Replies
        1. re: Corporate_40

          Jackets are "preferred" at dinner, but not required. At lunch, jackets are definitely optional, especially in hot weather.

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            I've got the jacket part, but am I going to stick out like sore thumb if I'm wearing jeans and nice sneakers (not running sneakers or anything), but casual sneakers none the less.

            1. re: Corporate_40

              If you have nicer pants and shoes wear them. I've been there for lunch twice and have seen people seated underdressed... but I never looked at them and thought "I wish I'd worn that!"

              1. re: kukubura

                Was in NOLA over the weekend, and felt somewhat underdressed, at Restaurant August, without my jacket. Even if the other gents had hung theirs on their chairs and dined without their jackets.

                Still felt mildly out of place...but DAMN it was a hot walk from the FQ hotel! Leaving the jacket behind was a move of self-preservation.

                I'll only speak as a gentleman to other gentlemen: "Take it upon yourself to ensure that you know what's accepted and, then, accept what you've learned. Dress for the establishment for the comfort of your fellow guests."

                There's always someplace, regardless of the town, that is suited to your wardrobe. Be comfortable and contribute to others' comfort.

              2. re: Corporate_40

                My husband will usually wear linen pants and a dress shirt for lunch at CP during the summer. I have never seen anyone in jeans there, but it is not to say it has not been done, you just may feel underdressed. At dinner, I have seen a few people without jackets, like wearing nice dress slacks or a light weight suit without a tie. I think jeans and tennis shoes may be a bit casual.

                1. re: ScarlettNola

                  That's what I was looking for. Thanks, I'll be sure to not wear jeans for lunch.

                  I might just say the heck with lunch and do dinner instead and get dressed up.

                  1. re: Corporate_40

                    Lunch at Commander's is the best. 25 cent martinis, amazing lunch specials, garden room looking all beautiful...

                    1. re: Corporate_40

                      Request the Garden Room for lunch or dinner. Best seat in the house. To be honest, I tend to enjoy lunch at CP more than dinner. It is a more leisurely relaxed time and I feel as though the food and service, while always outstanding, shine at lunch time.

                    2. re: ScarlettNola

                      My gang (in their 50's) simply don't go to lunch without coat and tie at teh better places. Hell, we didn;t even go to the Whitney Bank to cash a check without C&T. Back in the 1980's a maitre d' told me that mine was the last generation that did not mind leaving work, going home and cleaning up and then putting on suits and going back downtown for dinner. It is, as I said on the vanished-post, a matter of respect for the establishment and for others. And waiters, who perforce wear tuxedo or something uniform, will appreciate the effort from anyone, especially someone they do not know. The obvious snag here is that I live in this weather and so I have seersucker and poplin outfits. If I am to meet someone for dinner or lunch and am running around in a golf shirt, I keep the necessary items int the car and change in the parking lot. And I never take the jacket off and hang it on teh backk of the is a matter of upbringing. I won't yield...the Easy Way is the Path to Doom. next thing, you'll be permitting Instant Coffee, at which point you should just end it all.

                      1. re: hazelhurst

                        I so wholeheartedly agree about the (unfortunately common these days) practice of hanging one's coat on the chairback. Ick.

                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                          I would agree.....unless the the supposed nice restaurant is too cheap to turn on the air conditioner.;-)

                          ...then my comfort level trumps that of others and the respect given to the restaurant.

                    3. re: Corporate_40

                      You won't be turned away but you''ll probably wish you had worn something else.

                2. They pulled my post. Must've offended some folks. Ah well.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: N.O.Food

                    I wanted to get it going again, because you had a great point.

                    1. re: N.O.Food

                      I think your point was great, I just didn't like the "yankeeland". It is not fair to just blame the "yankees".

                      I would like to bring up hats and ball caps as one of my personal pet peeves.

                      1. re: cheesegrater

                        I don't know if you saw my reply, but I said yankee because the guy was from up north. Accent gave him away. No doubt we've got plenty of Southern slobs.

                    2. P.S. IMHO you can NEVER be too overdressed. I was always taught that it is much better to overdress than underdress for any occassion.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ScarlettNola

                        This is especially true in life, not only for going out to restaurants. One of the best tips I received from a very successful and prominent business man over three decades ago .....was to always leave the house looking neat and groomed, regardless even if you were wearing jeans and a tee shirt. His reasoning was you never knew who you were going to run into. Till this day, whenever I leave the house, I always make sure I am wrinkle free and iron my shirts, even if it is a tee shirt on a trip to the local hardware store. Back in the early 80's, I always had a blue blazer with me at all times. Once, unexpectedly, I was called to interview for position as manager for a new nightclub opening......I could not reschedule for another day and had to see the owner within the hour and all I had on was a button down collar shirt and jeans.....somehow the interview went well and later I found out from the owner's executive secretary, the reason why I was selected over other candidates was I wore the blue blazer....while the others did not.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          and you can always take off a coat and tie if need be but good luck finding one when you find you are without and need it (them). I remarked on the obliterated post that I wass surprised to find myself in a well-known Manhattan hotel lobby ayear ago and was the only man in a suit (and not a jogging suit, either) I would not darken the door of the hotel's garage ill-attired.

                          1. re: hazelhurst

                            (and not a jogging suit, either)

                            I have a friend who owns one of the top Italian restaurants in Northern New Jersey. One night a person walked into the restaurant dressed in a velour jogging suit and baseball sports cap and stated...."I heard this place is pretty good, can I have dinner?".......this was in the bar. The Maitre d' responded....."not dressed like that you can't". I loved it.

                            1. re: hazelhurst

                              I used to tell my husband that he could take off his jacket upon arriving at a restaurant if he thought it was de trop. But he told me that "a gentleman never removes his jacket in public". So I stopped making that suggestion.

                              1. re: MMRuth

                                double reply to yours and fourunder: A friend who has become an habiue of Wilton's in London called up to make reservaions and at the end of the call the woman at te restaurant said "You are aware we require jacket and tie for gentlemen?" Quoth he "I should not be dining there if you didn't"

                                Some years ago I was having lunch in a favorite place when the a/c blew-up. An owner came by as the heat mounted as said it wass permissible to take off the jackets. I said I would not and could not becuase, if I did, word we be all over Uptown NO that I had been in there without m coat on and my constant complaints about lousy clothes in there would be undercut. So we rushed the meal through and went to Dickie Brennan's where they were kind enough to let me stand in teh walk-in andlet the heat leech out of me.