The Caprice Holdings-owned Ivy Chelsea Garden — a sub-brand of the famous Ivy in Seven Dials — is at the centre of a race row after the singer-songwriter Raye has accused the restaurant of a racism after door staff refused entry to her black friend, but granted entry to her white friend. The pair were both wearing shorts and trainers.
Caprice Holdings has issued a statement saying that the customer was refused entry because of a dress code — one which the singer claims was only put into place following the episode.
In a tweet, Raye posted a photograph, which screen grabs restaurant’s website, and includes a section that explicitly says: “There is no dress code at The Ivy Chelsea Garden...”
And yet today, following an online backlash, the restaurant has appears to have amended its website and deleted the section posted by Raye.
My black friend was refused entry into @IvyChelsGarden for being “dressed inappropriately”. 1. My white friend in sweaty gym clothes was allowed in. 2. it says on ur website there is NO DRESS CODE. What I experienced was heartbreaking. Explicit racism.Not in MY CITY. Plz share pic.twitter.com/31xHZ6qGqe— RAYE (@raye) April 23, 2018
A spokesperson for the Ivy Chelsea Garden said: “There was a situation [on Monday] during which a gentleman was refused entry because he was wearing non smart casual clothing. Unfortunately, a mistake had been made and another member of his party had earlier been allowed in wearing similar clothing.
”The dress code for our restaurant is smart casual. We are sorry that this was not made clear on our website and other channels and this ambiguity has now been rectified.
”The Ivy Chelsea Garden takes all allegations of racism extremely seriously and we will make sure that our dress code is explained to all guests so that this confusion does not happen again.”
The same statement has been posted to Instagram.
However, when asked by Eater where on the restaurant’s website did it explicitly say “There is no dress code at The Ivy Chelsea Garden...” per Raye’s tweet, the spokesperson did not answer. Neither did the spokesperson say whether the restaurant deleted this statement from the website in light following the complaint.
The statement did follow the singer Kwabs publicly contacting the restaurant and asking for a response. He said: “At this point you ought to give out some sort of public response to Raye that explains your position undismissively [sic], so that those of us who have the privellege [sic] of being able to afford to eat in your establishment can decide whether to go elsewhere.”