1.28.2009

Forget the tie, '21' Club is going casual

Earlier this week my roommates and I were talking about how casual the world has become, most especially in the menswear-related category. We're not asking for black tie and tails but maybe dressing appropriately from time to time would be nice.
With that being said, I thought it was ironic when I was reading the NYT online yesterday and saw this article, a report about the changing of times at the infamous '21' Club. Why would the NYT devote a whole article to some old restaurant, you ask. Well, probably because this "power-dining oasis," as the article calls it, has, since opening 79 years ago, maintained a strict dress-code policy. And not just any "please no jeans" or "dress to impress" rule. Oh no, we're talking jackets and ties. REQUIRED (They did, however, amend that rule in 1996 and began allowing non-tie wearing during lunch hours only). '21' even kept an assortment of ties on hand in the off chance that a patron had somehow forgotten his. They had continued to maintain that old-fashioned elegance factor in a perpetually casual world, even if it was done with a bit a lot of pompousness. That was, however, until recently when the restaurant lifted its policy from neckties and jackets required, to neckties "preferred" and "greatly appreciated." But don't worry, jackets are and always will be a must.

I'm not telling you about this to remind us to dress appropriately but more so to get your reaction about a few parts of this article I found to be what you might call HILARIOUS.

Many of those interviewed for the article said that '21' was doing a great thing in taking a stride to better fit to the current culture.
And of course, there were those who disagreed, seeing this not as a step for a common ground of all people but rather another example of the downfall of dressing well.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the article:

“Etiquette is on a downward spiral, and politeness is disappearing,” said Michael O’Keeffe, the dapper owner and proprietor of the River CafĂ©, who said that jacket and tie have been his unvarying uniform since his days at Fordham Preparatory School. “I will miss the tie policy at ‘21.’ It held up an example of what etiquette could be.”

And then come the scathing remarks we all knew would be in the article:

“It is the final victory of Los Angeles,” Tim Zagat said.

And the final blow? Don't worry, it's right...... here:

And Bill White, 42, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, who first ate at “21” when he was 21, allowed that “now Bill Gates and the Google guys can come in.”

OUCH.

1 comment:

Ky said...

Ha ha! I saw that article, too. I loved the victory of Los Angeles quote.