This UK Sushi Restaurant Is Under Fire For Its Controversial Dress Code

Leatherhead, in the southeastern county of Surrey, looks to be a picture-book pretty, classic English town with a bustling high street, and we can only imagine how excited some of the residents must have been when they discovered an upscale sushi bar was about to open in the area. The interior of Beluga Bar is sleek and trendy, and wouldn't be out of place in London, Paris, or New York.

But even before it opened, Beluga Bar found itself the center of unwanted attention for its unorthodox dining dress code. In calling for "smart casuals with jackets for men, no tracksuits, no T-shirt," the Beluga Bar went way over the line when it spelled out what it wanted to see its women guests wearing. On a list of its  T's & C's, the site also suggested women could wear "skinny jeans with sexy black ankle-strap heels with a form fitting top" (via LADbible).

And wait, there's more. The since-deleted terms and conditions had also noted,  "Alternatively, there are many different types of dresses that would look good at a bar in the summer or winter, namely a midi or bodycon dresses," according to The Independent (via Yahoo).

The jury's out on whether the bar can survive their PR misstep

While most PR experts might say no publicity is bad publicity, we're not quite sure this is the type of publicity a newly opened bar would be looking to get. The sushi restaurant has since found itself in the awkward position of having to apologize before an international audience, saying that "the description was inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive and does not reflect the image we're seeking to promote." It added, "We wish to clarify that our policy is a smart dress code for men and women" (via Instagram). Beluga also used its social media to send its apology to some of Britain's mass-market publications.

In spite of that, The Daily Mail, which sent two reporters to scope out the bistro's opening, reported that the publicity did, in fact, discourage guests from attending. As the Mail's Emer Scully wrote: "...with Google's first results for Beluga coming up with the intense criticism, even above the whale, only time will tell whether women are prepared to forgive the venue for such an intense PR mishap."