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Sushi restaurant apologises for ‘sexist’ dress code that encouraged women to wear ‘sexy heels’ and dresses

Restaurant requested women wear ‘sexy’ heels and ‘bodycon dresses’ in dress code

A sushi restaurant has issued an apology after being labelled “sexist” for its dress code, which requested that women wear “sexy” heels with skinny jeans, or tight-fitting dresses.

Beluga, a new high-end sushi restaurant in Leatherhead, Surrey, published the dress code on its website Tuesday, in which it asked women to wear “sexy black ankle-strap heels with a form-fitting top” or “bodycon dresses”.

The bar and restaurant, which claims to be invite-only, also revealed it has a no tracksuits, hoodies, shorts, or flip flops rule. “Alternatively, there are many different types of dresses that would look good at a bar in the summer or winter, namely a midi or bodycon dresses,” the restaurant said in its terms and conditions, which have since been deleted.

Following the dress code post, social media users took to the restaurant’s Facebook to call out the “sexist” policy and to urge others to boycott the eatery. “Everyone should boycott this restaurant,” one person commented. “I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of dim sexist person owns/manages this place.”

“Shame on you, how dare you ask women to dress the way you would like them to,” another said, while someone else wrote: “Sleazy sexism will win you no customers.”

In response to the backlash, the restaurant posted an apology to its Instagram on Wednesday, where it acknowledged the dress code it had posted online was “inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive”.

“We would like to express our sincere apologies for the T&Cs mistakenly published on our website on Tuesday,” Beluga posted. “The description was inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive and does not reflect the image we’re seeking to promote.”

The bar and restaurant, which is set to open Friday 11 February and describes itself as a modern and elegant art-deco restaurant “housed in the heart of the city centre in the affluent, leafy suburb of Leatherhead,” according to its website, also said that it wanted to clarify that the policy is a “smart dress code for men and women”.

“Once again, we are wholeheartedly apologising for any offence and upset that we have caused,” the apology continued, with the restaurant limiting comments that can be posted under the Instagram statement.

Beluga’s least-expensive cocktails cost £14 ($19) while its entrées cost around £25 ($34).

The Independent has reached out to Beluga for comment.

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