Doorman dropped in dispute
A doorman at Classic Jack’s restaurant on 17th Ave. was let go after allegedly refusing entry to a MRU grad and his friend in the early morning of Sept. 18 after judging the latter to be “too much of a dirt bag” to enter.
Grad Aaron Ellard and friend Tim Albinati were finally allowed entry after a server who knew them both agreed to let them in. Ellard owns a store half a block from Classic Jack’s and his own staff frequents Classic Jack’s three to four times a week.
“We were still let in, but only after 10 minutes of this door guy refusing me entry based solely on the fact that my pants appeared to be ripped up and sewn back together, unlike designer pants, which are designer and thusly made of awesome,” Albinati explains, not without sarcasm.
“What perplexes me,” he adds, “is that I wore the exact same thing to the Calgary Tower last week for dinner with my family.”
Albinati says he also wore the clothing to Vinyl, a venue he calls “one of those fancy clubs,” and had no trouble getting in.
Classic Jack’s general manager, Greg Wellborn, stressed that the treatment Albinati and Ellard received is not typical or acceptable.
“We had a particular doorman on that day and it’s obvious we didn’t clearly go over our policies with him about how to handle people at the door. That’s not how we deal with people. We hire someone who’s a host and who will greet the customers and who can control the room as well,” Wellborn said.
When asked why a person would be refused entry, Wellborn said it would depend on several factors: “If we’re at capacity, we have to hold entry. We’re capped at a certain number of guests and staff.”
Wellborn confirms the reasons for the dismissal of the doorman, whose name was not released on agreement of privacy, were made clear and that his behaviour is not representative of how Classic Jack’s and two related businesses, 1410 Bier Haus also on 17th Avenue, and 1600 Bier Haus in Glenmore Landing, do business. Classic Jack’s management says they’ll revisit with their staff how guests are handled at the door to ensure that further issues like this one do not occur.
Wellborn said that Classic Jack’s does have a dress code but that people like Albinati, who dress with a punk-goth persuasion, do not fall under the restrictions of that code.
“We require people wearing ball caps to wear the caps facing forward only and not tilted to indicate gang affiliation,” Welborn said, adding that Classic Jack’s also doesn’t allow dirty construction boots either. “If you’re dressed like you’ve just come out from rolling in the dirt, you’re not welcome.
“That doorman’s opinion is where all those problems arose,” Wellborn stresses. “In terms of the front door, we’re just trying to gauge safety. If someone comes in with gang colours, we’ll refuse them but they’re welcome to change and come back. Most of our dress code gears towards keeping our patrons safe.”