Do fancy restaurants really have house jackets/ties for underdressed patrons?

This is probably a relic of the past–since the only place I’ve seen it is in old movies. When a character needs to get into a restaurant with a dress-code, the maitre d’ will often stop him because he’s underdressed . The comic staple is that the jacket/tie the restaurant offers him to wear before entering is hideous. (the “Friar’s Club” episode of “Seinfeld” is the only example I can think of now, where the club loans Jerry a jacket before he can enter).

Did any place actually have clothing on hand for underdressed diners to wear, or do any dopers know of clubs/restaurants that do this now? My best guess is that the staff would instead just quietly show you the door, and I’ve been in enough jacket-required restaurants that I think I’d have spotted a mis-matched diner by now…

Zaberer’s restraurant near Atlantic City, N.J. used to require jackets and ties on their patrons. Since a lot of patrons were coming from the beach in tose pre-casino days (they had a HUGE billboard atop the Steel Pier), they had a big collection of ties and jackets to loan you. I borrowed both.

Happened to me once in San Juan, P.R. A lady invited me to dinner. I didn’t have a jacket and tie w/ me, so I wore slacks and a collared sport shirt. The lady was known at the restuarant and they quickly provided me w/ a jacket and tie. I don’t recall the colors, but I think they were kind of neutral and it was OK. Fortunately the shirt was of a type that fit w/ a tie. The lady was very wealthy and insisted on paying, despite my macho objections. I’m sure the headwaiter rec’d. a nice tip.

I saw this happen at two different restaurants in Baltimore, Maryland in the 70s, once just a tie, once a tie and a blazer.

I’ve seen this recently - within the past couple of years, though I can’t remember where, exactly.

The restaurant where I saw this seemed to be missing the point, though. The jackets and ties were gaudy, with broad red-and-white stripes that looked like something that a 20’s ice cream store clerk would wear.

I presume that this was to prevent people from walking out with the jacket (intentionally or otherwise) after the meal. But it did nothing to preserve the classy atmosphere of the place to have it dotted with these eyesores.

If you don’t have a tie, and the restaurant does not have one for you to borrow, sometimes you can get a set of jumper cables out of your trunk and tie them around your collar. The host or hostess might still let you in, as long as you promise not to start anything.


Missed it by --> <-- that much.

Patsy’s lent me a blazer in the mid-80s. No idea whether they still have a dress code.

Patsy’s, btw, was one of Sinatra’s favorite restaurants back in “the day.” It’s also where Luca Brasi had his last meal in The Godfather.

When I was a teen I was holidaying at the coast with friends. A bunch of guys decided to go the Catalina Country Club to celebrate New Years Eve. The dress restrictions required a collared shirt (didn’t have one), tie (of course not), long pants no jeans (only had jeans), no “runners” (had no formal footwear), jacket (only had wet weather gear). I had to borrow clothes from other campers and ended up going out for the night wearing nothing of my own apart from my underpants.

As of 1996, The Williamsburg Inn’s dining room still did.

Yeah, happened to me too.

Oh no wait - that was Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. :slight_smile:

It happened to me about 15 years ago at a semi-fancy restaurant. And being the idiot that I was, I let them give me the jacket. I look back at the younger, easier intimidated me and think, Dummy - why would you give those pretentious bastards your money? If you’re not good enough for those guys, get the hell out of there and eat someplace else. I kick myself every time I think about it.

Le Francais had them. And it was a very schnazzy joint.

When I made reservations at Citronelle (in D.C.) one time, they were very explicit about their jacket and tie policy, and mentioned having loaners. They repeated it when they called the day before the reservations to confirm.

I had to put on such a “house jacket” once a few years back, when having a business lunch at the former La Côte Basque, one of the “grandes dames” (formal) French restaurants in NYC. It was a green blazer/sportcoat with some kind of emblem on the breast pocket. Kind of ugly and didn’t match my pants (which were navy).

The trend has been for these types of places to get more casual, though (including LCB, which has since closed and re-opened as a Bistro). Many of the “power places” are still “jacket recommended” but no longer actually require them.

Harry Shearer did an amusing critique for Spy magazine of various chichi New York eateries’ jacket and tie offerings.

It’s been awhile since I was there, but Four Seasons in NYC would provide you with a jacket if you failed to bring one.

We had a meal at the round dining room at Hotel Hershey (yes, that Hershey) back in 99 and my husband had no jacket with him so they provided him with one. I don’t recall whether he had a tie, or they didn’t require one, I know he didn’t have to borrow one. This is the only place I’ve ever eaten that provided a jacket - other places we’ve been where it might be an issue, we always had sufficient advance notice that we were able to dress appropriately.

Hmm. So you have dined at the Hershey Hotel.

I’ll take “Things That Sound Dirty But Aren’t” for $500, please, Alex.