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Turkey Leg Hut responds to backlash over new dress code policy

"We are not a club. We are a family friendly restaurant and will continue to maintain our standards."

HOUSTON — The Turkey Leg Hut is standing firm after its recent dress code changes were met with strong but mixed reactions on social media.

Turkey Leg Hut, which is known nationally for its turkey legs smothered in various dressings like crawfish macaroni, has become a staple in the Third Ward community. The restaurant has also built a reputation for its upbeat environment that offers music, extravagant cocktails and desserts and hookah.

In an social media post Friday, Turkey Leg Hut announced its staff will begin enforcing the following dress rules:

  • No excessively revealing clothing; including distressed or ripped clothing that is revealing, and shorts must cover your entire bottom
  • No house attire. This includes wave caps, durags, house shoes or shower caps.
  • No exposed undergarments including sports bras, bras, panties or any other garments resembling these items
  • No obscene language or baggy clothing. No inappropriate graphics or language. No excessively baggy, saggy pants.
  • No swimwear of any kind is allowed.

New Dress Code Policy: Please know that we are a family friendly restaurant that serves all ages from children to adults...

Posted by The Turkey Leg Hut on Friday, July 2, 2021

In the caption, the post read:

"Please know that we are a family friendly restaurant that serves all ages from children to adults daily and putting this dress code in place was necessary to ensure that all parties from our guests to our staff are dressed appropriately when in our establishment.

"Unfortunately, due to the attire of some guests, we were forced to put this new policy in place as we remain committed to ensuring all guests are comfortable while visiting us.

"We are not a club, we are a family friendly restaurant and will continue to maintain our standards as we welcome everyone to the Turkey Leg Hut!

"We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to having you visit us!"

The restaurant's post quickly went viral and was re-posted on several other social media platforms. A lot of people praised the new policy, arguing it is necessary and applauding the eatery enforcing a standard. 

A significant number of people disagreed Turkey Leg Hut was a "family friendly restaurant" and actually promoted a club or lounge atmosphere.

There were also some suggestions that the new dress code discriminated against the restaurant's Black patrons.

Turkey Leg Hut owner Nakia Price on Saturday released an official statement:

"At the Turkey Leg Hut, we do our best to accommodate all of our guests. It’s unfortunate that we even have to address this or implement a dress code but we are a family-friendly restaurant that serves all ages from children to adults. Unfortunately, we have received complaints from our patrons regarding other guest’s wardrobe choices. In order to try and ensure all guests are comfortable while visiting us, we were forced to put a new dress code policy in place.

"Our dress code policy is not meant to target or offend anyone but rather provide our guests with an acceptable clothing guide, so that all guests and staff will feel comfortable in our establishment.

The Turkey Leg Hut has been, and always will be, a restaurant of inclusivity for all and we will continue to take into consideration the input of all patrons to provide a safe, comfortable and healthy environment for our community and guests.”

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