A guest at a restaurant in New Jersey observed other patrons who were allowed to dine inside despite a dress code violation that he was seated outside for
A downtown Jersey City restaurant has now found itself in hot water once again after a video emerged that appears to show them targeting Black patrons with their dress code requirements.
According to NJ.com, last Saturday, Charles “CJ” Pace, 25, and his two friends went attempted to have lunch at The Ashford on Newark Avenue when he was told by an employee that he could not dine inside the venue because he was wearing “joggers” sweatpants.
Pace and his companions – all of whom were Black – thought nothing of the dress code and dined outside without issue. But as the group was wrapping up their meals they noticed that white customers dressed just like them were allowed to walk past security and enter the restaurant to dine without receiving the same reprimand.
“I understand. I follow dress codes, but if it is blatantly in my face being (racist), you know what I mean?” Pace said of his response to seeing a white patron in ‘joggers’ and a baseball cap worn backward enter the establishment. “It really set me off.”
In order to prove the blatant double standard, a video was taken and later posted on social media showing the white men who violated the dress code being allowed to dine indoors. Pace also said he went directly to the head of security to point out the hypocrisy and was told he still wouldn’t be allowed inside.
When he spoke with a manager and asked for answers, he and his group were further chastised for being “aggressive.”
“He was downplaying the entire thing,” Pace said. “Honestly, it looked like he just wanted to laugh at us.”
Unfortunately for the venue, in addition to owning a photography studio in Journal Square, Pace is also an influencer who knew how to use social media to seek justice.
“Being Black in america is being told you can’t come inside of an establishment because you have on sweatpants but you can sit outside, and as you sit outside you watch white people walk smoothly inside with sweatpants and hats to the back,” he wrote in the Twitter caption to his video. “dont support TheAshFord in JerseyCityNJ”
“Our bill was over $300 , y’all think we paid for that sh*t? lmao… we kindly asked the waitress (who was sweet) for her cashapp, sent her $100 directly. and DIPPED. she wasn’t even mad,” he revealed.
“As one (of two) black girls that worked here, we dealt with a lot of bulls—, but it’s always been known knowledge that they didn’t sell (Hennessey) or Ciroc (because) they didn’t want “that crowd.” … I’ve spoken (with) the bouncers and they’ve told them not to let certain types in,” one former employee said in response to the clip, which has received almost 700,000 views and overwhelming support on Twitter.
In 2019, according to NJ.com, The Ashford’s dress code was criticized after area residents suggested its ban on “oversized jewelry,” “low and belt-less pants” and headgear seemed to apply to a specific demographic. At the time, the Ashford responded by saying they just wanted patrons to dress “to impress” and “casual neat” but that there was no racial intent in the attire restrictions.
The Ashford’s co-owners, Kenneth Caufield and Jeff Lam have yet to issue a public statement to the subsequent backlash.
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