By Davy V.
Commonly referred to as a Chuck E. Cheese for adults, Dave and Buster's is a combination sports bar, restaurant, and arcade.
The Dallas, Texas based chain held its grand opening for their newest location in Rochester, NY on Monday March 7th.
Located in Marketplace Mall, in a space which was previously occupied by a Bon Ton store, Dave and Buster's is the latest addition to a mall which has seen better days and is trying to create some new excitement.
Dave and Buster's location in Marketplace Mall, Rochester, NY. Photo by Davy V.
But while many in Rochester are excited with Dave and Buster's arrival, some are questioning whether the company's dress code is racist, and meant to keep minorities out.
Wednesday evening, I received a message from someone who follows this blog.
The message contained a meme-style image which is being shared on Facebook.
The image, which I've posted below, is actually a screen shot of Dave and Buster's dress code as it appears on the company's website.
The screen shot that is circulating on Facebook has been modified with the question "Whites only?" at the top, and "Please share" on the bottom.
In part, Dave and Buster's dress code reads as follows:
- Baseball style caps only, and they must be worn straight forward or backwards only.
In other words, if you were to rock your NY Yankees fitted slightly tilted to the side, you'd be in violation of Dave and Buster's dress code policy, and asked to leave or not allowed inside in the first place.
Dave and Buster's prohibits any wearing of any other type of headgear, including "knit caps, bandannas, stocking caps, etc."
Dave and Buster's dress code then states that any such headgear "may not be worn on premises."
Right under that, Dave and Buster's Dress Code policy reads; "No evidence of gang affiliation."
Ok, now this is where Dave and Buster's dress code policy becomes disturbing for many.
This is Rochester, NY.
Where one day temperatures can be as low as -5 below.
So I can't wear a knitted hat?
Can I wear a hoodie?
Do I have to check my down bubble coat at the door too?
So let me get this straight, I can't wear my favorite NY baseball cap slightly tilted to the side?
Because if I do, I may be considered to be somehow gang affiliated?
But wait, it gets worse.
Many are saying that this is where Dave and Buster's dress code seems to be intended to keep African-Americans out of their establishment.
By prohibiting any wearing of "stocking caps", Dave and Buster's seems to be sending a disturbingly clear message that if you're black and wear a stocking cap or du rag to protect your waves on your head, you're not welcomed into their restaurant.
Dave and Buster's dress code goes on to list other things that are prohibited, such as baggy clothes, and gold pendants.
This is not the first time Dave and Buster's has been accused of racism.
On November 18, 2014, the restaurant chain sent out the tweet below:
After coming under fire for the racist tweet, which stereotypes Latinos, specifically Mexicans, the chain went into damage control spin mode, and sent out the following tweet, apologizing.
Now as far as Dave and Buster's dress code, as a Latino who was raised in a predominantly black neighborhood, and whose children are African-American, and who happens to wear knitted hats, very rarely baseball caps, and who has tattoos, and whose son has worn a stocking cap to keep his beautiful waves on his head fresh, I find Dave and Buster's dress code very disturbing, as it really hits home for me.
I mean, perhaps the gentleman who sent me the meme, summed it up best.
"If there's no legislation, and Dave and Buster's can do what they want, then what's next, no dreadlocks?"
I don't think it would be a stretch to say that there's something more to Dave and Buster's dress code.
I don't know, perhaps... No Blacks Allowed?
I will be updating this piece.
Screenshot Facebook meme of Dave and Buster's dress code.
Dave and Buster's Dress Code Policy