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."