Stuck in Tampa, Florida through no fault of your own and looking to kill time? How about eating a meal at Hulk Hogan's beach restaurant? Do be warned — the dress code is a tad bit completely batshit crazy. Oh, and it's also just a teeeeeeeeny bit racist. There's also that.
As reported by TMZ, the inventively-named Hogan's Beach has a dress code more restrictive than most fine dining establishments I've seen. It starts off simply enough:
*****ATTENTION ALL CUSTOMERS*****
WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED
NO EXCEPTIONS: Shirts and Shoes are required upon entering any indoor area of the restaurant or hotel. Please do not enter the dining room or hotel area without appropriate clothing and footwear or you will be asked to leave the premises.
Makes sense so far. No shirt, no shoes, no service. Alright. But then it starts to get progressively weirder:
The following dress code shall be strictly enforced:
- NO Plain White T-Shirts (or otherwise oversized t-shirts extending past the mid-thigh)
- NO Attire Containing Profanity (or otherwise deemed to be offensive by management)
OK, that's not that weird, I guess.* I've seen the t-shirt thing before, although it always cracks me up when a sports bar tries to pull that shit. You're not haute cuisine, guys.
Where does this Hulktopia go from there, though?
- NO Sports or Sleeveless Jerseys
- NO Excessively Baggy Attire
- NO Low hanging pants or shorts (pants or shorts must be worn at the waist)
Wow, THAT doesn't sound like it would target a specific group, now, does it? No sports jerseys is the weirdest here to me. You're not a Michelin-starred restaurant, Hogan's Beach. You have "beach" in your name.
Now, if it were just those, there's enough plausible deniability to claim race isn't a factor in this. Ohhhh, but it gets better:
- NO hats, caps or visors worn sideways or back facing (hats must be worn fully forward facing at all times)
- NO Do-Rags, Skullcaps or Bandanas
- NO Torn or Soiled Clothing
- NO Workboots.
- NO oversized or excessive jewelry
First off, no backwards-facing hats? Has anyone actually worn a backwards-facing hat since 1997? Second, I can't get over the irony of Hulk Hogan telling someone not to wear a bandana. I mean...Hulk Hogan. Hulllllk Hoooooogan. OK, that last link has nothing to do with bandanas, I just really, really wanted to include a link to that picture.** Also, no torn clothing, so this guy is shit out of luck.
From there, the dress code just gets weird ("NO High-Top Sneakers" — the fuck?). Also, "NO Camouflage (unless with military ID)," which gets really funny when you realize that someone in the promotional video for Hogan's Beach is wearing camo shorts.
If you really wanted to argue that this isn't targeted at black people and you need further evidence, here's a quote from TMZ:
We spoke with an employee at the restaurant, who said you can wear just about anything for lunch or dinner, but the dress code is strictly enforced during concert events. When we asked him about wearing oversized jewelry, he said, "I don't want to sound stereotypical ..." and then he trailed off.
Hogan claims he didn't know anything about the dress code*** and told TMZ that he's "looking into it." Yes, Hulkster. Maybe do that.
Update: Apparently, Hogan took care of this pretty quickly, threatening to revoke their right to use his name unless they got rid of the dress code. Well done, Hulkster.
* Just to clarify: I'm not adding all this unnecessary capitalization. Apparently, one of the side effects of clinical Hulkamania is that every word becomes a proper noun.
** NEVER FORGET.
*** This is probably true. A lot of famous people with restaurants have no idea what goes on in them. For example, I'm pretty sure that when Guy Fieri isn't there, some of his restaurants might actually serve edible food.
Image via AP.