ALL Paul Love wanted to do was take his out-of-town family to the Irish Village for dinner on Tuesday night.
He, like most of Emerald, was intrigued about the new venue and was eager to try the menu, but when he got to the door, he was refused entry because his shoes didn’t meet the strict dress standard.
“I’d come here with my wife and two kids to have dinner on Tuesday night,” Paul said.
“It was just after 6pm and I was wearing a collared shirt, casual shorts and tidy trainers but was told to leave.”
Not to be deterred, Paul took his family back on Wednesday night when he was wearing the required collared shirt, jeans and the same trainers, and was permitted to stay and have dinner.
“We got there at about 5pm and we’d booked a table for 6pm and it was fine,” he said.
“I think the shoe rule is a bit too strict for after 6pm and trainers should be allowed.
“As long as the shoes are closed in, personally I think it’s okay.
“I do think it’s a fantastic place and very modern, though.”
Paul, like many people who have made it through the door, said the Irish Village was a “fantastic” venue and much more than a pub, but public opinion remained divided about whether it was the strict dress code or the establishment itself which created the “other-worldly” experience.
It was the dress code that sparked criticism and outrage from a number of residents and has been the subject of a number of posts on the venue’s Facebook site, some of which have since been removed.
Such criticisms included statements that Emerald was a mining town, not a major city, and therefore the dress code and standard should be more accommodating to workers and the general population.
Security staff will remove a patron from the bar after 6pm if they are not in dress code, although the number of people asked to leave the venue was unknown.
However, a number of patrons supported the strict attire standards, and agreed with Kayley McCorley’s opinion that the dress code added to the dining experience and atmosphere inside.
“It’s a different type of place,” Kayley said.
“It actually feels a lot like Brisbane and like you’re not in Emerald, and the dress code has something to do with that.”
Signs at the front and back entrances display the dress code which demands that “no micro mini shorts, skirts or dresses” be worn, and “masseur sandals or thongs are not considered appropriate” after 6pm.
At all times, “no caps, sweatshirts or tank top singlets” are permitted.
A management spokesperson for The Irish Village said the design and layout of the venue, as well as the dress code, was established to provide Emerald with a different experience to other venues in town and will remain in place despite criticisms.
“We are not asking for designer clothes, we are just asking for a higher dress standard for dining out,” the spokesperson said.
“We believe people in town have been waiting for a place that has a point of difference.”
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