A '20s-inspired Riverside, CA bar and restaurant called ProAbition enraged the internet after posting a dress code that required women to wear high heels. An advertisement for the bar read: "Ladies: No flat shoes or sandals. Must have heels. Exception will be made if injured." They've since rescinded the rule, after receiving Facebook comments that called them "sexist," and wonder "'if injured' does one need a doctor's note."
According to the Press Enterprise, the dress code has since been loosened, so that uninjured women can also choose not to wear heels. The PE reached out to ProAbition's assistant general manager who explained that the restaurant listened to needs of its customers: "As a business, we pay very close attention to our guests' feedback. We had been receiving feedback on all fronts. That's when we decided maybe we need to re-adjust this and not be so strict about this one particular item." So now women no longer need to wear heels, but they should not arrive wearing flip flops or sandals.
ProAbition posted an apology on Facebook while commenting on the PE article in which they say their "intention was never to offend anyone." They also claim the flyer that stated the dress code was posted by "promoters." Here's the full text of their statement:
We would like to thank everyone who takes an interest in our business and dress code. We also would like to add information that is not mentioned in this article.
We have been dealing with this issue for about a week now and all of the comments are still on our Facebook for everyone to read and get a full picture of what has been going on. If you would like to see a complete picture, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/proabition.
The flyer in question was posted by one of our promoters for a SPECIFIC event; scheduled on a Saturday night—after dinner hours. We should have caught the questionable wording and corrected it. "Fashionable Cocktail Attire" should have sufficed. However, we have taken steps to review all posts in the future and insure that they send the message that was intended. The bottom line is that we do have a dress code. Our dress code is not carved in stone—it changes with the time of day, day of the week, and with any event that is scheduled.
Our intention was never to offend anyone. We have invested significant time and resources to create ProAbition. Our goal was to cultivate and create and environment that is consistent with our vision and to promote the growth of beautiful Downtown Riverside. With that, we believe the people—our customers, and friends that come to ProAbition, are the biggest part of that atmosphere. That is why we have a dress code—to promote and maintain this atmosphere for the enjoyment of all who wish to partake.