Houston restaurant, Turkey Leg Hut, dragged for ‘anti-Black’ dress code by Jaelen Ogadhoh

“We are not a club, we are a family friendly restaurant,” said restaurant management in an Instagram post

Image via Google Maps Street View

Popular Houston restaurant Turkey Leg Hut released a new dress code Friday banning “wave caps,” “du-rags,” “sagging pants,” and other attire, and people are not having it.

In a now-deleted Instagram post, the restaurant released the initial version of their new code, which was met with such heavy backlash across multiple social media platforms that they had to upload a revised version and disable the comment sections of multiple Instagram posts.

“Some place called Turkey Leg Hut posted this dress code on their Instagram page. I’ve been to weddings with more relaxed dress codes,” said Twitter user @TheRealHoarse, who uploaded a screenshot of the original policy.

In the revised version, the Houston eatery removed a clause dictating “all body parts must be completely covered” including “cleavage, thighs, and buttocks,” where they added, “the only thing naked here is Turkey Legs and Chicken Wings.” 

All other policies remain unchanged, including bans on swimwear, “obscene language” or graphics on clothing, “excessively baggy pants,” “exposed undergarments” such as sports bras or panties, and “house attire” such as wave caps, du-rags, and bonnets.

“We are not a club, we are a family friendly restaurant,” Turkey Leg Hut management wrote in the caption of an Instagram post detailing the updated code. “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.”

Soon after the internet caught wind of the restaurant’s policies, Twitter erupted with memes satirizing the code by posting photos of people dressed in 7-piece suits and traditional Victorian attire, suggesting that is how the restaurant expects their customers to dress.

“Imagine putting on your Sunday best for a place called Turkey Leg Hut. LMFAOOOOOOO,” wrote Twitter user @iam_blackgold.

“Getting Oscar worthy dressed to eat at a place called The “Turkey Leg Hut” that serves foods you eat by hands…,” wrote Twitter user @JahInTheMiddle.

Although the restaurant is Black-owned, many people also commented on the inherent “anti-Blackness” of the new policies, even alleging that the establishment is “gentrifying itself.”

“Our own ppl be anti black . the line outside be wrapped around twice in texas heat . on top of that it’s just in 3RD WARD .. you called the “turkey leg hut” & in the middle of the hood & serve finger foods & u want a strict dress code ? BYEE,” @Zoie_Zhane tweeted.

“Turkey Leg Hut was gentrifying themselves and forgetting who put them on the map. People start making and start acting weird. They back tracking and posted a new dress code because people were fed up,” wrote @Jayintee_.

“I have never been to the Turkey Leg Hut and never will be. How are you gonna be a BLACK establishment in the middle of a historically BLACK area of Houston with a hella Anti-Black, internalized racist af dress code policy for a joint that sells excessively smothered turkey legs?” wrote @TaliaMirai.

The new policies are not going unenforced. Twitter user @CaramulGoddess claimed in a post that she was “denied entry into Turkey Leg Hut” on June 24 because her top showed “excessive cleavage.”

Despite the negative attention, the Houston restaurant posted an Instagram video Saturday morning appearing to show a long line of customers waiting under tents in the rain three hours before opening. 

The caption read: “Let’s get this dress code started lol … I mean this beautiful Saturday going … rain and all we rocking … thought a hater said something … we love y’all.”

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