8.24.2005

Sietsema Notes Tabaq Dress Code

The dress code at the new Tabaq Bistro, as discussed by commenters in this post, caught the attention of Post food critic Tom Sietsema when he checked out the place. He noticed people in shorts and/or sneakers being turned away at the door.

I would've liked to hear the owners on the record explaining the exact standards of the dress code. (Sietsema notes the doorman was wearing jeans.) When dress code lines get blurred, people get mad. I worked at Eighteenth Street Lounge about five years ago and had to listen to constant griping about the unfairness of the seemingly random dress code. Early in the night, guys with backpacks and shorts got in; later in the night guys in jeans were turned away. For a place like the lounge, where exclusivity is part of the appeal, burly bouncers making up rules as they go seems expected, albeit "unfair." But for a restaurant, it seems harder to implement, especially a relatively casual tapas restaurant.

Tabaq may have to reconcile its dual purposes—chic lounge and tapas joint— and make some exceptions for early diners. Or people will just figure it out and, as Sietsema writes, "Get dressed, and dig in."

5 comments:

The Ghost of Gordon Sumner said...

He also gave you props on his webchat today. So you've got that going for you...

Amanda said...

heh, heh. thanks.

DF said...

Many resturants have dress codes. For example, at the Prime Rib, men have to wear coats and ties. And Many clubs (and/or bars) have dress codes (think ESL). But resturants have dress codes in order to keep the atmosphere more formal but the clubs/bars do it in order to keep the atmosphere "hip" (for lack of a better word). If Tabaq thinks it can serve a steady stream of customers food, especially on weekedays, while at the same time turning away the customers because their dress doesn't meet some unspecificed, unknown (and possibly changing) dress code then I would think they are fooling themselves.

Tabaq might be better served by not having a dress code until 9:00 or so. And then having one after that (because, after nine o'clock the place is more club/bar than resturant).

They should also know/remember that a resturant doesn't need to have a formal dress code and bouncers to ensure that people dress nicely at the resturant. For exmaple, Komi doesn't have a dress code, but no one goes there in shorts, flip-flops and a raggerty t-shirt (or at least I have never seen anyone dressed like that there).

p.s. And add my congrats to your favorable shout out in Tom's chat.

Amanda said...

thanks df. I agree about the 9 p.m. idea. Or maybe even 10 when the dinner crowd is thinning out. I thought about going for brunch on Sunday, but I was looking like I usually look Sunday mornings...a little raggedy shall we say. I figured I'd be underdressed. I mean you can't be expected to look cute at weekend brunch right?

Anonymous said...

I believe I was with the group that Sistema mentioned in his posting -- none of the people who were turned away were wearing anything that would have put them out at any other place in the hood, not on U or 14th, or in the Morgan. In fact, though the doorman relented and let some of our party in wearing jeans (because it was a pre-arranged event); as guests were leaving they were ordered to not even stand waiting for other members of our party near the door because of their offense attire. All of us are from the neighborhood, the group included local retail business owners, and we were so put off, that I doubt any of the 10 of us will be back soon no matter how good brunch is.