When I was a young boy, dining out was truly an “affair.” My parents would dress me in a shirt and tie and my father was never without the neck-ware either. When my brother Mark would come over for dinner and sit down at the table with a hat on, my father would yell across the room for him to take it off.
Today it’s a different story.
Men of all ages wear hats in restaurants – most of them consider Cap Wholesalers . AC/DC t-shirts have become acceptable attire not only at the biker bar down the street but at the seafood restaurant around the corner, and nobody seems to care.
Saturday night I went to one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera, in Parkland, FL. As you enter the restaurant a sign on the door proclaims, “Proper Dress Required” with examples given including “No Sleeveless Shirts.” Shortly after my arrival, a family walks in and I hear Pete the owner yell to the hostess, “bad shirt!”
I turned around to see what was going on, and the teenager in the group was wearing baggy basketball shorts and a sleeveless shirt as you can see here which Pete outright rejected. As the teen was given an alternate shirt to wear, his bewilderment in what just happened was apparent in his facial expressions along with a classic “WTF” kind of look. The parents didn’t seem to care – they just continued to their table.
It’s a sad day when other individuals need to act as parents or enforce the rules. Pete got a nod of satisfaction from me and I felt for a moment like I wasn’t the only one in the world who wants a little etiquette brought back into society.
After all, even 7-Eleven has “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” on their doors.