ProAbition, a whiskey bar and restaurant, is known for throwing grand parties themed anywhere from The Great Gatsby to Bonnie and Clyde. It has also become known for attempting to enact a ‘heels-only’ dress code on its female patrons.
The dress code began innocently enough. A flyer announcing a Saturday night post-dinner hours event told patrons that apparel such as tennis shoes and baggy attire were just not acceptable for such an upscale establishment. But the dress code also included special instructions for women.
“Ladies: No flat shoes or sandals. Must have heels. Exception will be made if injured.”
Now according to the restaurant, that flyer was for a specific event. But the powers of social media and women in flat shoes did not delay.
ProAbition soon saw a bevy of angry comments on their Facebook page, demanding the desegregation of women in heels and women in ballet flats.
Even though Sorrelle Williams, a local business owner in Riverside, sells high-end clothing which ProAbition would probably love on their female patrons, she was one of many who took to Facebook to angrily discredit the heels dress code, calling it “ignorant.”
ProAbition did clarify their dress code via Facebook. “Guys: No shorts, baseball hats, baggy clothing, flip-flops, or t-shirts. Dress to impress,” the restaurant wrote.
For the women, the dress code remains a bit ambiguous, sans any mention of stilettos. “Ladies: Please keep it classy and dress to impress.”
“We have put a lot of time, money, and effort into creating ProAbition; and we will to create and maintain an atmosphere that is consistent with our vision,” the restaurant said in another post. “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.”
The restaurant, which opened earlier this year, has a menu featuring an impressive whisky list and entrée such as hamburgers, specialty pizzas and flatbreads to diners. The “A” in the logo is upside-down to represent the mathematical symbol meaning “for all.”
“We found it quite appropriate, as mathematics is the universal language understood and spoken by all in terrestrial nature, music, and the cosmos,” the restaurant’s website said.
But apparently that “all” doesn’t include women in flats.