A decade ago, with only a few resto-bars and pubs holding sway in Chennai, it was considered quite an achievement to spend an evening out at one of these spots. With strict dress codes in place for men, such as formal shirts, trousers and shoes being mandatory, entry was reserved for those who took the effort to dress up. But, with the number of pubs having shot up in number of late, such restrictions have been relaxed in most places. Most new watering holes in the city don’t state a dress code at all, in fact. But instead of appreciating the casual attire acceptance, some Chennaiites have started abusing the privilege.
Bermudas and flip-flops are one thing; but boxers or lungis? This scribe witnessed a bunch of middle-aged men harass the manager and his staff at a recent resto-pub in the city garnering great reviews for its service. Pointing to the ‘no dress code’ sign, the men, some of them who had turned up in lungis that were above knee-high started arguing with the receptionist at the entrance when denied entry. Given that it was mid-afternoon, there were no bouncers present either and women present there looked uncomfortable and started walking out. Finally, with no other option as one member in the gang started boasting about his political connections, the manager had to let them inside. They proceeded to create a huge ruckus for over an hour at their table that displeased every other guest in the pub.
One hopes that people in the city can appreciate the nightlife and pub scene being made accessible for all without standards, and choose to respect the other customers’ presence by at least trying to maintain a sense of decorum – both in spirit and in wardrobe.
– Gautam Sunder, Chennai