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Woman claims Uptown bar's dress code is racist

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A strict dress code for a bar in Uptown has a Minneapolis woman crying foul, FOX 9 reports.

Michelle Horovitz tells the station she was shocked to see the dress code sign outside Bar Louie, and claims the eating and drinking establishment racist because of it. Horovitz calls the dress code the "new Jim Crow being enforced in a colorblind way."

The dress code, enforced every Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to close, prohibits, flat-billed hats, large chains, sleeveless under shirts, long white T-shirts, athletic apparel, sports jerseys without collars and excessively baggy clothing.

"You might as well say, 'No black folks allowed. It's ridiculous," Horovitz told FOX 9.

Bar Louie's corporate management hasn't responded yet to inquiries from the station, but the manager confirmed that the bar is following policy handed down by the corporate office and employees are following orders.

FOX 9 News did reach out to Bar Louie's corporate office, but has not heard back. The manager at the Uptown location did confirm that the policy was handed down by their corporate office, and they say employees are simply following orders.

The only other Bar Louie location in Minnesota -- in Minnetonka -- does not have the dress code sign posted, FOX 9 says.

According to the company website, Bar Louie has more than 70 locations nationwide. The company has been in operation since 1990. A dress code is not listed on the company's website.

Bar Louie faced a similar sort of controversy about a year ago in Memphis, Tennessee, when a patron complained about the dress code sign, WMC-TV reported.

According to the station, the general manager of the establishment took the sign down, but said the dress code would still be enforced and a revised sign would possibly be put up.

The general manager told the station that it was never their intent to offend anyone, only to protect the brand and the neighborhood.

Bar Louie doesn't appear to be the only food and liquor establishment with a specific dress code for patrons in Minneapolis. According to its website, Aqua Nightclub & Lounge doesn't allow baseball hats, sandals, hoods sport, jerseys, tennis shoes, sweat shorts, baggy attire, long attire, white T-shirts, ripped or torn clothing, or anything deemed to be inappropriate by management or staff.

The Imperial Room and Imperial Lounge in Minneapolis also have a strict dress code.

According to the company's website, the Imperial Room says baseball hats must be worn straight forward or straight back, and the following attire isn't allowed: white tees, baggy attire, long attire, excessive jewelry, ripped or torn clothing, dew rags or bandannas, and any attire the management deems inappropriate.

The Imperial Lounge's dress code is virtually the same, except that it doesn't allow hats. It also doesn't allow athletic wear or logos, except on game days.

It's not unusual for dining establishments to have dress codes, either. The restaurant finder Open Table says Murray's Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge and Ruth's Chris Steak House, for example, asks its patrons to dress "business casual"; while Crave and Butcher & the Boar each only require "casual dress."

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