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Kickback Jack restaurant in Durham draws social media ire over clothing restrictions

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By Sarah Krueger, WRAL reporter

Durham, N.C. — A sign at a newly opened Durham restaurant that spells out what customers can wear if they want to patronize the sports bar has gone viral on social media because of suggestions that the wardrobe restrictions may be racist.

The sign at Kickback Jack’s greets customers after they walk through the restaurant’s double doors. The sign says customers can not wear low-hanging pants, plain white T-shirts or high heel stiletto shoes.

Some customers are taking issue with the restrictions.

"I think it’s bogus and ridiculous," said Zena Graham, who added that she saw the posts on social media criticizing the signage, which she said was discriminatory. "A lot of minorities wear that type of fashion, so I just feel like it’s kind of discriminating."

But other customers said the dress code seems appropriate for a restaurant that often attracts families with young kids.

"Some people seem like they’ve gotten out of hand as far as the way they wear their pants and expose certain parts of skin," said John Baucom.

In addition to clothing restrictions, the sign prohibits balloons and large parties.

"I’d think they would welcome the large parties there (from) a business perspective," Baucom said.

For a place that boasts "great food" and "great fun," some patrons said the restaurant lives up to the first part but not the second.

"How are you supposed to have fun if you’re put in a little box like this," one customer asked.

The manager at the Durham location, who asked to not be publicly identified, said the sign has been posted since the restaurant opened, which was a couple months ago. He said the sign is posted at all locations of Kickback Jack’s, and not just the one in Durham.

According to the establishment’s website, there are 11 Kickback Jack’s operating in North Carolina and three in Virginia.

WRAL News reached out to the corporate office for comment, but haven’t heard back.

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