A musician has accused the Ivy Chelsea Garden of "racism in the most disgusting and blatant form.”
Raye, a singer and songwriter from London, took to Twitter to share a short video clip showing her arguing with a member of staff.
Speaking to indy100, she explained:
My colleague, who is a white girl, walked straight into the restaurant wearing sports gear and trainers.
Then my black friend, who was wearing shorts and trainers, was refused entry
Raye shared what appears to be a letter from the Ivy responding to her complaint and stating that the refusal of one member of her party had absolutely nothing to do with racism.
The star point out that the restaurant’s official website stated that there is “no dress code”. Despite being a well-known prestigious establishment, its official page also describes it as “relaxed”.
Alluding to this, Raye continues:
I challenged them on this because, to me, this is blatant racism. It says there is no dress code, so why would they let in a white person but stop a black man dressed the same?
This type of behaviour needs to be called out and spoken about. It is heartbreaking that this is still happening in my city.
The Ivy has since expanded on its initial response.
In a statement sent to indy100, a spokesperson explained:
There was a situation yesterday 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. We will make sure that our dress code is explained to all guests so that this confusion does not happen again.
Finally, the spokesperson confirmed that the dress code policy has been officially updated in response to the allegations to 'smart casual', although there is no clarification as to what exactly this means.