A Japanese restaurant in North Carolina is getting attention not for its sushi, but for a sign dictating what customers should — and shouldn't — do in order to dine there. A sign in the front window at Kabuto Japanese Steakhouse in Charlotte commands customers to "take your hoodie down," "pull your pants up," and "finish your phone conversation," WSOC reports; the last tenet on the sign reads "marijuana smell not allowed."
Restaurant owner Martin Tanaka tells WSOC he's just looking out for his regular diners, many of whom are families with young children. While some area residents think the sign is racially motivated and offensive, Tanaka says the response from customers has been overwhelmingly positive, and claims "he's had to turn away people of all races for breaking the rules."
Reactions on social media seem largely supportive, though some think the sign could have been worded a bit more tactfully:
@AngelaWSOC9 The question is could they have achieved the same result by saying 'appropriate clothing' required for entry. It's borderline.— Paris Carerra (@pariscarerra) March 2, 2016
@AngelaWSOC9 @wsoctv I commend the restaurant owner for posting the sign. Please stop pulling the race card people smh!!— luvly lady (@luvlylady007) March 3, 2016
@AngelaWSOC9 @wsoctv absolutely appropriate. It's their business and their dress code. It's like saying shoes and shirt required.— Shelley Black (@shellbell0914) March 3, 2016
Kabuto isn't the first restaurant to raise questions of discrimination in dictating a dress code for customers: In Dallas, a city investigation was triggered after a bar was accused of racial discrimination at the door predicated on an unevenly enforced dress code.