Short North Food Hall Dress Code

By Jordyn Zody

This past January, the Short North Food Hall posted a dress code list that discriminated against African Americans. The dress code restricted items such as sagging pants and flat billed hats. It also did not allow for athletic clothes, sandals, and a long list of other items to be worn into the bar. Food Hall did come out and apologize for the dress code and have taken the majority of it back, but it exploded onto social media sites and had many people upset about it. While having a dress code for health or safety reasons is understandable (for example, not allowing backpacks to be brought into the bar) their entire dress code is unreasonable. However, Food Hall specifically not allowing flat billed hats while allowing regular baseball caps is unnecessary. Also, baggy clothing would be a subjective call for the bouncer and there is no clear definition on what would be acceptable and would likely lead to discrimination. Even though the dress code listed specific items, it was not clear on what would be allowed and where the line would be drawn for items such as baggy clothes.


This relates to the Civil Rights Movement and demonstrates that while we may all appear to have equal rights there are still numerous cases of injustice. We are still dealing with racial discrimination in America today. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and fought discrimination with nonviolent and economic methods. They did things such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956.


America has come a long way, but racial discrimination is still present today. Food Hall’s dress code is not acceptable, and we should not tolerate or support actions like this.


The following is a link to a news story regarding Food Hall’s dress code sign:


4 thoughts on “Short North Food Hall Dress Code

  1. This dress code requirements of this restaurant did not correctly reflect on what would be seen as “appropriate” or “acceptable” for health and safety reasons by unnecessarily prohibiting wearings to implicitly discriminate against African American. This could be viewed as an example of systemic injustice that has continued until today since the civil rights movements back in the last century.

  2. I agree with you. I don’t understand why they would say no flat billed hats. That just seems to be targeted to me. I do think dress codes have a time and place. For instance, fancy restaurants and things like that. Food hall is for sure not in that category though. I think it would be interesting to see the actual reasoning behind this. Are they trying to clean the place up and make it classier or are they trying to target specific groups of people. Either way, it seems a bit fishy to me and I’m glad people noticed this.

  3. This is a great post to show us that indeed racial discrimination still exists in todays society and in this case literally right down the street from our campus. I’m glad you did a post about this specific topic because for some people this could be the light needing to be shed on the situation, this is also an amazing post because it shows that racial discrimination while in this case if you know what you’re looking is blatantly obvious, but if you were an unsuspecting person and none of the rules applied to you, you wouldn’t have known it was racially discriminating against a certain group of people.

  4. Jordyn,
    This is a great example of systemic injustice. It is very apparent in the clothing requirements outlined in the list that Food Hall is targeting a specific group of individuals, primarily African Americans. Yes, it’s important to have certain guidelines in place such as no bags and patrons must keep their shirts on. But no baggy clothes, flat billed hats, and athletic clothing seems quite targeting to me. I also like how you mentioned that baggy clothing can be subjective to the bouncers. While I’m glad they took down this list, it doesn’t change the fact that it was up in the first place.

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