The singer Raye has accused Ivy Chelsea Garden of racism after a black friend was not allowed into the restaurant due to his attire, despite wearing similar clothing to a white friend who had already been allowed entry.
The singer posted a video to Instagram showing her friend being turned away at the door by staff at the Chelsea restaurant.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden said in a statement that “a mistake had been made and another member of his party had earlier been allowed in wearing similar clothing”, adding “the dress code for our restaurant is smart casual”.
However, a screenshot posted by Raye appears to show the a webpage or communication from the Ivy, stating: “There is no dress code at The Ivy Chelsea Garden…”, but the remainder of the sentence is cut off. It is thought that the complete sentence recommends smartness of attire.
At the time of writing, a line stating that dress code is ‘smart casual’ is visible on the booking page. Catering Today was unable to find any previous cached version of the Ivy’s homepage with different text though versions of the booking page do exist in archives on Way Back Machine where no reference to dress code is made either way.
The statement from Ivy Chelsea Garden said: “We are sorry that this was not made clear on our website and other channels and this ambiguity has now been rectified.”
Raye said on Twitter that she was “heartbroken” following the incident and said “I feel like I have let everyone down because I do not have a big enough platform to get this message out there or enough money to sue”.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden has said: “[We take] 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.”