A Detroit restaurant drew some backlash online this week after issuing an announcement on its dress code policy, including telling customers who “smell like marijuana” to not “even think of stepping inside.”
Caucus Club Detroit in a Tuesday Facebook post wrote that “Business Casual is the minimum dress code that should be adhered to while dining” at the restaurant.
“Seriously people, hoodies and jerseys are not business attire,” the upscale eatery pointed out, adding that “ball caps” and “sneakers” would not be considered appropriate, either.
“Most importantly, if you smell like marijuana don’t even think of stepping inside the Caucus Club,” the post added. “Please be mindful that strong ‘odors’ are unacceptable.”
The restaurant’s owner, George Sboukis, told local Fox affiliate station WJBK that the post was prompted by customers showing up to the fine-dining establishment in more relaxed dress during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as complaints from some customers that other guests smelled like pot.
“It’s so pungent, some of the guests have commented, ‘It smells like you’re seated next to a dead skunk,’ ” he told the local news outlet.
He added that those who come to the restaurant should be prepared to adhere to their clothing attire guidelines, as well.
“We’ve had people celebrating their 50th [anniversary] last week, the week before that. They’re getting dressed up, they’re putting on an evening gown, their earrings, their best suit,” Sboukis explained. “They’re coming out to celebrate and they expect to be surrounded by like-minded guests.”
While some Facebook users vocalized their support for the restaurant’s post, with one person commenting, “just because it’s [marijuana] is legal.. you don’t have to flaunt it,” others claimed the guidelines were racist.
“This is coded language for racism and is likely going to be used as a tool to prevent Black and POC Detroiter’s from dining here,” one person wrote. “Horrible decision to make such a post. You have lost so much business for such an ‘upscale’ restaurant you would think more thought would have gone in to a post like this.”
Sboukis, however, told WJBK that he didn’t “mean any harm,” adding that the Facebook post “was a reminder with a little bit of sauce just to get people’s attention.”
In Michigan, recreational marijuana use is legal for all adults age 21 and older, though state law prohibits smoking in public spaces, with residents encouraged to instead limit use to their homes or other private areas.