The Australian Hotel at Rouse Hill has banned any patrons with visible tattoo’s. Matt Morris 26 from Sackville thinks it’s wrong and has been denied entry to the hotel. Picture: Angelo Soulas
THE backlash against tattoos has spread to restaurants and pubs, which are banning patrons with visible ink.
From Rouse Hill in Sydney’s northwest to wealthy Double Bay in the east, signs are being erected warning patrons they will not be allowed in unless they cover up.The “no tattoo” policies followed NSW Police looking to ban tattoos from the force.
While some pubs and restaurants have formal bans on tattoos, many others have informal policies.
Andrew Stanway, owner of dining spot and watering hole Mrs Sippy in Double Bay, made no apologies for the sign on his door: “All body art is to be covered and not visible to the naked eye.”
Mr Stanway said the policy was to keep out “riff-raff”.
“With some tattoos, people can be of a lesser persuasion, if you like,” Mr Stanway said.
“We don’t want the riff-raff, we don’t want the crap. I’ve watched too many places get ruined because of that. I’ve worked too hard for that.”
Mr Stanway said he had no problem with small, discreet tattoos and did not mind if his policy discouraged young people from dining there.
“If you want to come in, you’ve got to be respectful to my business by being respectfully dressed,” he said.
A sign at the Australian Hotel and Brewery in Rouse Hill reads: “NO Visable (sic) Tattoo’s (sic).”
The two-year-old pub only enforces the policy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and also bans “gangs or gang clothing”.
Matt Morris, a 26-year-old spray painter from Windsor, was rejected at Christmas over his three-quarter “sleeve” of tattoos on his left arm.
“They wouldn’t let me in the door. But then we came here for my friend’s party (on another occasion) and I put a long-sleeved shirt on and there were staff and other people here with tattoos. I asked the bloke (on the door) about the tattoo policy and they said it just depends on if they don’t like the look of you. So I just rolled up my sleeves,” he said.
General manager Marcello Colosimo said the tattoo ban applied to the hotel’s staff as well as patrons.
“We have a dress policy that comes into effect after 9pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights which includes: no hats, no thongs, no shorts, no offensive or highly visible tattoos, no singlets. This applies to staff as well,” he said. “At all other times, these are all welcome.”
Coogee Bay Hotel last year had a sign on the doors saying: “Entry is not permitted to anyone when wearing visible tattoos.” But the sign has since been removed and when contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, a spokeswoman denied there was a no-tattoo policy.
Australian Hotels Association chief executive Paul Nicolaou said licensees were within their rights to deny entry to anyone as long as they do not breach anti-discrimination laws.