Some UW students critical of State Street bar dress code

Published: Apr. 26, 2017 at 6:23 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) It's not uncommon for bars and restaurants to enforce a dress code, but some UW students say the rules at bars near campus are discriminatory.

A Facebook post by UW student Annette Leach displayed a photo of the dress code at State Street Brats. The post was shared nearly 600 times along with the caption that read "I am having a hard time finding the words that need to be said about this sign that is posted in State Street Brats in Madison. What a disgusting testament to how alive racism is in my city. I am so outraged that I can't even think clearly enough to say anything profound. But this needs to be shared."

Some of the prohibited clothing items listed were "do rags," bandanas, baggy clothing, plain white t-shirts, extra large shirts and cosmetic mouthware or "grills." Leach says she believes the dress code unfairly targets African American men.

"I hope that these signs get taken down. I hope that if people are worried about their safety, that they find other ways to make sure people aren't carrying weapons and there's no gang violence." Leach said.

NBC15 spoke off-camera to several bar owners on State Street. They explained that the dress code has been in place for several years and it is effective in keeping bars safer. Bar staff said the rules are not designed to target any race, but rather to make sure they are protecting their patrons from violence that has been seen inside and around State Street bars in years past.

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