COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A couple with six children who rarely got out for a fancy dinner got pushback when they asked a public forum for a restaurant with a dress code.
Nick Goings and his wife, Amy, got dressed up for their date night — a special outing that only happens a few times a year for the couple.
“We got excited. I went to Men’s Warehouse, bought a dinner jacket and a nice shirt, and she bought a nice dress to go out,” Nick said.
But when the Goings got to the restaurant, they felt awkward.
“We were so overdressed. So overdressed,” he said.
Nick posted a question on social media, asking for an upscale restaurant with a dress code. He got 200 comments before he turned them off.
“A lot of people said ‘Who cares what people wear? Just enjoy yourself and have your evening.’ I get that. I’m not trying to judge people for what they’re wearing. We just want the ambiance,” he said.
NBC4 reached out to restaurants asking about Nick’s date night dilemma. Leah Jennings at the Refectory and Michael Shannon at the LeVeque’s The Keep replied.
“Over the past 45 years we’ve been open. If there was ever a place in Columbus to dress up, it would be The Refectory restaurant,” Jennings said. “We recommend to all of our guests that they arrive in business casual or more, everyone that is dressing as extravagantly as they please . . . will be made to feel as special as they want that evening to be for them.”
The Refectory serves classic French cuisine and the chef is from Lyon, France.
“We do not have a specific dress code. Truthfully, we believe in inclusivity for anyone. We won’t turn someone away,” Jennings said.
At The Leveque’s restaurant The Keep Kitchen and Liquor Bar, Michael Shannon says there is an emphasis on elegance.
“Inspired by the design of the hotel, I think a lot of our guests, which we call ‘individualists’ are inspired to bring out their best when it comes to clothing,” Shannon said.
Both The Keep and The Refectory say they do not have a dress code, and make sure that casually-dressed customers are seated as well.