Saddle Ranch Chop House discriminates against customers

We’ve all heard stories of when someone feels like they’ve been given poor service at a store or a restaurant because of being heavily modified. I’ve felt like the scene in Pretty Women before where I’m told the store has nothing for me but last night was the first time in a decade that I have ever been refused entry into a restaurant based solely on the fact that we had tattoos.

Last night around 10:30pm, I headed to CityWalk in Universal City, CA with Norm, Charlie and Vanessa Roberts and our friend Jason. We had tickets to see Avatar at 12:10am and wanted to get dinner first. Everything but Subway and Saddle Ranch Chop House were closed. We walked all the way from the movie theatre to Saddle Ranch where Jason and I went in first and got a table. I noticed that Norm was being held at the door. I went back to see what the problem was and found that they were making him remove his clothing to inspect his tattoos. As I asked what the problem was, I was asked to step aside and Norm and I were escorted out of the line to get in, even though I had already been given a table.

Upon further inspection they told us that we had “gang tattoos” and would not be allowed into the restaurant for the safety of the other patrons. Those of you that know us know that we have no gang affiliations, nor do we have any gang tattoos. I’m covered in Flower and faerie tattoos and that’s it. I guess the “Always” on my hand now stands for some gang that I have no idea about? Norm was a gentleman about it but I wanted to talk to the manager even though we had decided we didn’t want to spend our dollars at a businesss that discriminates against tattooed patrons. We left to go to Subway, which by the time we walked all the way back, was closed.

The lesson that we all need to know is that our dollar effects the decisions that corporations make. I’m asking that you do not visit the Saddle Ranch Chop House or their affiliated restaurants.We should come together and boycott them.

If you want to make a difference, email Alex Chavez (Senior Manager) at achavez@srrestaurants.com and let them know that you don’t appreciate rampant discrimination by management against customers who have tattoos and that you and your friends will not be visiting their establishment. You can also call them at 818-760-9680 or send your letter via fax to 818-760-9686. Remember to keep your emails/faxes/phone calls polite and well written otherwise they will just cast us off as they already have.

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Do we look like “gang members” to you? Nope, didn’t think so. Using an excuse like that to discriminate against tattooed individuals is reckless and irresponsible. We all want to be able to visit a restaurant and be safe but using a fake claim that we had “gang tattoos” to discriminant against us using their “anti gang tattoo policy” because we are visibly tattooed is unacceptable. Help me to rectify this situation by making sure organizations like this don’t use their policies to discriminate against everyone who is visibly tattooed.

123 thoughts on “Saddle Ranch Chop House discriminates against customers

  1. I donno, tiny little white girl and a tiny little jewish boy… look pretty thug to me! ;)

  2. Dan, I agree. I hope everyone who emails them mentions that the restaurant support modification merely by allowing breast augmentation and tattoos or piercings should not be handled differently.

    Unless boob jobs aren’t considered optional body modifications anymore.

  3. This pisses me off SO bad. Who the hell do they think they are to ask someone to REMOVE CLOTHING? I live in Nebraska and will probably never come near this establishment, but I think I’ll still give them a piece of my mind.

  4. I have a boob job so I should have been admitted right?? We would have never gone into this restaurant in general but it was the only thing open at that hour. I knew something was up when I saw Norm being forced to remove his sweater and his flannel.

    They didn’t notice me until after I came out and they saw my neck tattoos.

  5. Asking for the removal of clothing is definitely over the line, but considering the area…well, the super gang paranoid isn’t unusual. People aren’t permitted entry to alot of places when wearing bandanas, because of the suspected gang affiliation. But unlike bandanas, mods cant just be removed to gain entry. Not saying its ok…just that I understand in context.

  6. I sent them a very, very lengthy and detailed e-mail. That is ridiculous, wrong, and ignorant in all fashions.

  7. Asking someone to remove their clothing to gain entry to a RESTAURANT is pretty outrageous.

    I’m from the UK and visit the states a lot – my boyfriend and I have been to Citywalk Orlando on nights out (we were there last in Sept) and never had any problems (and he has knuckledusters on his throat, although nothing to do with any gang haha). We’ve only ever been welcomed and treated with respect, but shall be a bit more wary now.

    Very sad that you were treated this way, still can’t get over the fact they made him take his shirt off. If they’d have asked a woman to remove her clothing so they could get a good look at her tattoos, that would have been a total different story.

  8. Pingback: Not With That Face » Dealing with the modified – 4th in a series

  9. Judging by the pics on their website, they obviously welcome scantily-clad females as customers, and it consequently doesn’t come across as obvious that they’d have any sort of dress/appearance code. If you can get the press to take an interest with some bad publicity, you might get an apology out of them but otherwise it’s an unpleasant reality that restaurants seem to be able to discriminate at will unless it’s actually illegal for them to do so (and they sometimes try and get away with it even then).

  10. Just emailed as well. That is some silly bullshit.
    I have to say though, from checking out their website and photo gallery , it seems like you would have been better off gnawing on some roadkill off the side of the road than eating there.. That place looks absolutely horrible.

  11. Actually, just reading your entry and then looking at the picture, the first thing I saw was “Gang Member”..

    Hat tilted sideways, Cholo shirt buttoned up, tattoo’s. Yep, I can see how they would have made that assumption.

    I don’t agree with it, I know you guys aren’t gang members, and I don’t really think it had to do with Tattoo’s. Seems like it was about the first impression and then a quick, not thought out response from their side.

    But yeah.. I totally see “Gang Affiliation”

  12. Hilarious! Firstly Rachael is way too smokin to be a gangmember’s girl.

    Secondly Norm looks like a little white kid dressing up like a gang member for Halloween. Only the dumbest of the dumb would think his wigger look is actually genuine-gangsta. He’s like the tattooed American Alig G.

    Thirdly, this place looks like douchebag central and they did you a favor by not letting him in.

  13. That is some crazy shit I used to bar tend for Saddle Ranch in Scottsdale Az. and I am fully sleeved with 5150 on my knuckles and some other tattoos that could be considered gang related, To me this sounds like an asshole bouncer, because it def. not a co. policy. while I was working there many of the mangers where fully tattooed. All though I am not defending there behavior in Ca. because it is some serious bullshit!!!!! Fuck I hate stereo typing!

  14. I just called them.

    Me: “hey can I speak to the manager?”

    I think his name was Gary: “yeah, this is a manager”

    Me: “okay, I just wanted to let you know that some of my friends were kicked out of your restaurant because they had tattoos so I just wanted to tell you that I will be boycotting your restaurant and I’m going to spread the word and get all my friends and everyone I know to boycott your restaurant.”

    I think his name was Gary: “okay”

    Me: “cool man, bye bye.”

  15. This is just ignorant and it really makes me mad. I work in a store with a lot of modified employees and it seems as though we get people who say they won’t shop with us anymore because they are offended by our modifications on a daily basis. I don’t understand how people are offended by something that is on me, it would be one thing if I had a giant swastika on my forhead but it didn’t hurt them when a needle went through my septum so I don’t see the problem. The fact that you were refused service really gets me going. I can tell you that I won’t be giving them my service now or in the future.

  16. It was the only place open which is the only reason we went there.

    Thank God the movie was good so they didn’t ruin our whole night.

  17. First I do agree on the discrimination issue. Being asked also to remove clothing might be terms for a lawsuit. The restaurant does have a “right to refuse service” however.

    I am not so sure the mods where the main reason for the issues encountered. I live in Oklahoma and around here the black/white flannel, baggy jeans, and crooked ball cap would the be first sign of a gang banger. After that seeing the neck tats would be another sign.

    I get a lot of discrimination around here with My long hair and earrings being mail. My tats and other jewelery are hidden by clothing.

  18. Sadly to many ignorant fools when some see heavy tattooing they see gang members.

    I can see law suit here, but it’s hardly worth the hassle.

    Everybody should email this company and let them know that a Hollywood actress was refused entry. I can see a news story here too

    The issue of being asked to remove clothes is insane. I would like to know what the right to refuse entry signage is at the front door

  19. Fairies AND flowers? Obviously that’s the most dangerous type of gang sign – the ones no one would ever suspect in 90 million years. Seriously, forget MS13. It’s that weird, little arm critter that is the real deal. Everything else is just child’s play. And I think I saw something about avatar fans being innate social deviants on Gangland.

    At least the movie was good! Please update us with their ‘official’ responses – I hope they grovel and then fire some asses.

  20. If you want a boycott to be effective, don’t just say, “we’re never coming here again.”

    If you’re never coming there again, what reason do they have to change their position?

    Tell them that you’re boycotting them until they do X. Then they know what to do in order to end/prevent the boycott.

  21. What part of tiny Jewish boy looks gangsta? Seriously. It’s horrible that they did that but it’s also kind of funny for anyone who knows you two. Funny as in absurd…

  22. They did same thing to me when I went there for the first (and last) time back in August. They had to check my neck tattoos, hands, arms, etc. There’s nothing special about that place — food sucks and overrated. The only good thing is watching folks fall off the mechanical bull.

  23. Knotts Berry Farm (during Knotts Scary Farm in October) security pulled me aside and asked to see my tattoos. Asked me if I had ever been convicted of a felony or “locked up” at any given point in my life.
    What I do have visible are not gang tattoos and I no longer dress the role.
    I was asked if I was a gang member and when I said “No” one of the Security staff pointed at one of the tattoos on my hand ( an Ohm) and asked, “Then what does that number 13 stand for?!”
    I laughed and told them what it actually stood for. They called their “superiors” (Sheriffs) over and asked them if I should be asked into their offices for further inspection. They looked at my tattoos and said “Let him in.”
    It happens.
    Life goes on.

    You choose your path in life when you get exposed areas tattooed and need to deal with the consequences of it.
    A tattooed neck and a flannel are reason enough for cops to fuck with you by labeling you a “gang banger”. I am not saying it’s right but I can’t say that I disagree, being an owner of a business myself.

    It’s just how it is on the streets, and in life, “look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck? Get shot like a duck.”

  24. As for what you exactly have tattooed on yourself in those exposed areas?
    Not many people look past the ink on your skin and what it resembles.

    I go through it every time I go to an Orchestral performance. The other (much older) patrons stare and whisper amongst themselves.

    You get labeled “hood” and that’s that.

    Prop’s to Norm though. You should never change your attire for what is “acceptable.”
    I wouldn’t have showed the management a damn thing upon request. I give him prop’s for that and also for him keeping his cool.

  25. emailed, i kept polite, but added a nice ‘congratulations on the boycott, you’ve earned it’ as a closing statement.

    um, glad to hear avatar was decent?

  26. e-mail sent. Funny, exploring the website and the menu has something about rockabilly on it….hmm….anti-tattoo and pro rockabilly?

  27. I knew my comments wouldn’t get posted.
    God forbid an opposing view to yours be posted.

    I actually wasn’t in opposition of them (Your position) as much as I “understood” their stance.
    Oh well.

    From the looks of their site, they have a “night life” that is probably looked over by security. I am guessing that it was security members that pulled Norm to the side and questioned him?
    You have to consider the area and if you are not from here then you also have to consider that there’s prejudice happening on many different levels here in L.A. based on the City you’re in.
    Hell, I grew up out here in North East L.A. and I know to stay out of certain areas like Burbank.
    I could go into why I stay out of that area for the tattoos that I have or why I don’t belong there that aren’t based on race but what is the point. This reply won’t get the time of day on your site.

    Norm is from MSK.
    MSK has been tied up to some major shit in the past year, truth be told. If you go by that alone? You could say that security made a GREAT judgement based on what they perceived as being “unruly”. Little did they know but boy oh boy did they make an educated guess!

    Good night.

  28. I just emailed them! Short and simple. What they did was wrong and upsetting! I got ya back yo!

  29. the dude on the left does look like a creepy thug but that’s no reason to discriminate. btw i went to that restaurant once and it was NASTY so you didn’t miss a thing … consider that a favor.

  30. There are a lot of companies like that. I tried to order some clothes from American Apparel to have printed up for my shop and when I called they asked what type of business it was for, and when I told them a tattoo and piercing studio they refused to sell to me, saying “We don’t want THOSE type of people wearing our clothes and we would never sell them to a tattoo shop.” I find that really funny that they’ll hire people with tons of tattoos and/or piercings, but don’t want “those people” wearing their clothes.

  31. This was the only picture I had of the two of us where we aren’t making kissy faces or wearing sunglasses.

    Norm wasn’t the only one told that he had “gang tattoos”. They didn’t notice my tattoos until I came back out because I was wearing a jacket and had my hair down.

  32. Sur Sider: Your comment was posted so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about.

    From what I can tell the place turns into a “Club” late at night but we weren’t going into the bar/club area. We were going to sit down at a table and have dinner. Neither management nor security handled the situation in an appropriate manner. To ask someone to remove their clothing to inspect their tattoos goes too far.

    The question that is being begged is if I have a concealed tattoo that is only shown after security forces me to expose it, how is that appropriate and how does it affect their security policies? It’s like being kicked out of a public pool because you have pornographic tattoos that nobody would see because you swim in board shorts instead of a speedo. The tattoos were a non issue.

    I understand these policies are there for our safety but the problem becomes when they’re abused, which they clearly were in this scenario. Had they said “Sorry guys, your clothing doesn’t meet our dress code” I would have understood but to be told that I have gang tattoos is unacceptable.

  33. “Sur Sider: Your comment was posted so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about. ”

    I spoke (wrote) too soon on that one. I apologize for that.

    My stance stands on the rest of what I typed.
    I don’t agree with what happened but I can see the opposing stance on the issue. It’s the Republican in me, I suppose.

  34. Rachel: I am not a legal professional. However I don’t think they can “make” you show your ink or such. They can refuse you entry/service if you don’t but that is a different thing all together.

    I do not know the laws that govern the “right to refuse service” but as they are a private business they have a right to do business with who they want to. I am not sure how this works with discrimination laws either.

    I am part of an “alternative lifestyle group” which was kicked out of the restaurant where we used to meet for years after an issue of collars came up and the management stated members could not wear them in anymore. I am talking Goth/BDSM type collars. Nothing can be done about beyond getting them to learn a bit of acceptance.

    As mentioned things like this do happen and it is unfortunate. I seriously doubt the boycott will work simply because it doesn’t look like this place caters to “our kind of people” in the first place and won’t lose any business because of it.

    You might however consider taking your story further to the local media such as any newspapers or even a local TV station that might be interested. This may cause some pressure on them in the long run. Who knows. May be worth a shot and get some publicity for yourselves too.

    best of luck

  35. I live in Breda, the Netherlands and deal with this sort of thing on a weekly basis. We have about 20 bars in the centre of the city where i go almost every week. I can only go to about 5 bars, the rest will not let me in. The only things i have visible when i’m fully clothed are my stretched lobes (22 mm) and my long hair. I wear neat clothes when i go out. The bouncers won’t let me in because i’m too “extravagant”, or they’ll let me in, and once i take of my jacket and they see my heavy blackwork on my arms they’ll tell me i have to keep my arms covered. I was even once denied entrance by a bouncer who had full sleeves. They said the bar wanted to look “respectable” Me personally, i have just accepted it. If they think my money isn’t good enough i’ll spend it elsewhere where my business will be apreciated. But i bet they all just LOVE to watch miami ink!

  36. Sur Sider: I’m all for a business being able to have the right to refuse service but when it’s based on something that’s not correct and is an abuse of a policy meant to protect people from gang violence then that is what bothers me.

    Had they said that Norms flannel was too baggy, that’s fine. I understand dress codes but being told that we have GANG TATTOOS when we don’t, is just crazy. I have “Always” tattooed on my palm and LA in script on my wrist. Those are not gang tattoos but they look like it if you’re an idiot.

    The situation was handled very poorly and I hope they think twice in the future about using a policy like that to refuse service.

    It’s like at my convention we have a “No motorcycle colors” allowed policy. This means you can be in a club, you just can’t wear your colors. I don’t make them cover up their tattoos because that’s not something you can change. It would be one thing to say “no hats” because you can take your hat off and put it into your car. It’s another thing if they say “No heads”. You just can’t remove that.

    I have a pretty strict customer service policy. If someone is abusive or swears at Jen, she can refund their purchase and cancel their accounts and we refuse them service but that is based on a real reason, not making something up and using some other policy to cover it up.

    Does that make sense?

  37. I been there lots of times and i have tattoos everywhere. i think cause they know that she is running modblog? maybe they were hating cause it changed and most of the post are all about her… ANYONE ELSE AGREE… cause if you write anything about Rachel she will erase it

  38. Also, I’m not interested in suing them or making a huge media frenzy out of it. I have zero interest in that. What I do want though is to make it public knowledge when a business has policies like this.

    On the other hand, I keep going over to Kmart and there is an employee there named Angel who has probably 1.5″ lobes and he’s super awesome so Kmart is cool and Saddle Ranch Chop house is not.

    The one benefit of having a website as large as this one is that pretty soon when people google for Saddle Ranch Chop House, this post will come up before theirs and people can read and rethink if they want to support a business that acts the way they do.

    This leads into another pet project I have had in mind for a long time which is basically a “yelp” for modified friend/unfriendly businesses so you could rate businesses that either hire or support modified people. The body art industry is a XXX million dollar industry and we have the dollars to make change simply by deciding where to spend those dollars. So the moral of the story here again is to only support places that support us.

  39. Steve(Stainless) – American Apparel is BIG TIME discriminators against tattooed people. My girlfriend works at one here, they no longer hire people with visible mods. Before someone can be hired they have to be photographed, the application and photos are sent to corporate, who looks the person over and decides if they look “American Apparel Enough”. My girlfriend has a simple chest piece and some small tattoos on her wrists, as well as 1″ lobes. She commonly gets comments about covering up or treated badly in reference to her tattoos and ears. If someone really wanted to it probably wouldn’t be hard to bring a lawsuit against American Apparel.

    Worst thing I ever get when going in somewhere is they don’t have a clue what to do about stamping my hands… I’ve had plenty of people say offhanded things but never an employee of an establishment. You better believe I’d make a scene over it.

  40. OK… When was it legal for an establishment to ask its patrons to remove clothing for a tattoo inspection? Is there a certifacation process? Just that alone is disturbing. Rachel, this happens at a lot of places but its just sad that this type of behavior is prevalent in this day and age.

  41. before i read the comments and get too worked up i just wanted to say this
    I fully agree at the outrage at this resturaunt and wont be going there, but I feel this article would be more effective if it didn’t have sentences like “we should come together and boycott them”. At that point this went from an informative article about abuse towards the modified to a livejournal entry by some kids pissed off. Asking things like “as the modified community we should let this chain know our patronage effects their buisness and by adressing this head on. you can contact corporate…etc…don’t spend your money on their products..” all make sense. It’s just the sense of saying like we are 14 “lets boycott!” instead of all the intelegent and right ways to deal with this issue. I know that what we would be doing is boycotting, i just wish the article sounded more businesses like. Its feels hard to be taken seriously about things like that the modification community is real and big and full of smart productive members of society, when crazy’s can look at this article and claim we are like spoiled children.

    if we are fighting all the time for equality for our community we should be able to show we can handle situations just as professionally as any other group would do.

  42. “Vandals of Los Angeles, Founded 1988″

    Did I miss something about that T-shirt?

    ‘Right of admittance is reserved’ and that includes to people claiming allegiance to ‘vandals’, even if they look like they haven’t vandalized anything yet today. After all, vandals can go around in gangs and vandalize things, so you cannot be too careful!

    So…

    Just deem the “Vandals of Los Angeles, Founded 1988″ shirt to be at fault.

    Remember that you can be denied entry into places in England for wearing trainers instead of shoes. That is standard policy for night-clubs, and no amount of making excuses will let you in. It could be your own birthday party inside, with the whole place hired just for your friends but the bouncers will still say no, you are not coming in. The same goes for T-shops in the summer, wear a football shirt or have no shirt at all and you are out, body-mods or not.

    The whole world is not a struggle between you and your mods.

  43. brush it off go somewear else happens to me and my friends etc all the time
    most ppl complainging idoits with like wrist tattoos and lip pericings

  44. Sur Sider, I think you are mixed up.
    Two quotes from the Street Gang Discussion board:

    MSK #1

    “msk inside of compton and in the area means MYRH STREET KREW its a click of cv70 they were tryin to settle shops inside the raquet club the lil apartments complex just between yo hood auto zone or sum like that and spook town just south of the center ,also the dtk down to kill are 70 now and they jumping tag bangaz with the quikness well 70 are known for copycatin’ some varrios spreading technik by jumpin crews in their set …peace”

    MSK #2

    “…MSK Mad Society Kings which is a tagging / graff crew that is mostly white and hispanic. They been around for awhile and I can’t see them putting that up* but they are white boys trying to be down so maybe they adopted that mentality from the Surenos [they put up the tres puntos mi vida loca now with their tags these days].”

    I think Norm is more of #2 than #1. Check this out. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kzer/543555459/

    More of a crew than a gang and not very to customers! To property on the other hand?

    *This was a convo about the “MSK f-ck n-ggers” tags that are up around LA.

  45. Hellcat, the photo was changed because the first one was making Norm look like a wanna-be gang kid.

    I hope that pointing this out does not get my comment deleted.

  46. Judging by the restaurant’s website, you should have put on a skimpy T-shirt that exposed your belly, cut the neck down to expose your cleavage, and pulled your jeans down to just above the pubes. Norm made the mistake of wearing his hat properly; it should have been turned backwards. That would have done the trick.

  47. you must have not have noticed the, “All Non-Douche Bags Are Subject to Mod Profiling!” sign when you entered

  48. i agree with boycotting bad business practices. it’s definitely not right to discriminate based on ones appearances, including clothing. the richest person in the world could wear $30 shoes. however, modblog is a pretty powerful resource for entertainment. using it(modblog) for ones personal goals will eventually become a personal blog. which in a sense is discriminatory in itself.

    if it were me i would have posted in my journal and perhaps linked to modblog. if i were at the restaurant….i would have pulled out my oozie and shot up the place. ha ha but seriously, as i’m sure it happened i would have educated the staff and begged them to have a nice day. exceptionally loud begging.

  49. “I have “Always” tattooed on my palm and LA in script on my wrist. Those are not gang tattoos but they look like it if you’re an idiot.”

    Yeah, an idiot OR someone who doesn’t know much about tattoos and would rather not risk it.

  50. On the MSK thing that people are harping on, how exactly would they even know that? I don’t see “MSK” tattooed on Norm’s forehead. You can’t say that had any basis in what happened unless I’m mistaken and Norm actually does have MSK tattooed on his forehead.

    And Rachel’s tattoos look nothing like gang tattoos nor does Rachel look like any gang member.

    Discrimination has always been featured on ModBlog and why shouldn’t Rachel talk about it. This incident is just one of many like it I’m sure. Raising awareness so that this type of thing doesn’t continue happening to others is a huge part of what BME is about. There is no more appropriate venue than this one to tell this story.

  51. It seems to me if they had to ask Norm to remove clothing they were looking for a reason not to let him in since they couldn’t see one with all of his clothing on. Or maybe they just wanted to check him out? Get a better look at the goods and they decided his boobs weren’t big enough?

  52. so…. who changed the picture to a less gangster looking one? not that they had any right to remove him, but still… hahah.

  53. h3llc4t – I’m assuming Rachel changed the image because people were saying “Norm looks like a thug, so treating him like one is totally cool” — which is naturally absurd since that’s the very definition of prejudice.

    Holly – If someone doesn’t know what “gang tattoos” are or looks like, then they shouldn’t be in charge of identifying them or denying service to people that they “think may have some”. If that’s the case, then they basically have a “no tattoos policy” since they can’t determine which tattoos may or may not be gang tattoos and they’ve apparently determined that someone “with a gang tattoo” is going to be shooting people randomly in their establishment. And if that’s the case, then we should stand behind a boycott anyway.

  54. @ 68 Sean: In the original image, it was much more apparent where the “gang member” look came from. It wasn’t the tattoos it was the clothing of choice mixed with the tattoos. The new image makes it seem much more astonishing that they were asked to leave.

  55. Rachel,
    One of the reasons you were let in and your boy friend wasn’t, was because of his T-shirt. It says “Vandels” on it with the Vandels logo of a baseball bat and heavy duty bolt cutters. Anyone that promotes vandelism deserves to be discriminated against. I have over 40 hours of tattooing on me and I would not of let him in and if he thought vandelism was cool, I would of also kicked his ass.

    Go back with the proper attire for a 5 star restaurant and one of the top five restaurants in LA and you will not be discriminated against.

    Max

  56. From reviews i’ve read on one website. it had 2 1/2 stars out of five from the one in city walk… so yeah it must be really terrible. some reviews said that they do search you, food is terrible, drinks are overpriced, people are awful, etc. some reviews said it was the worst place ever and that they would never go there again. i think its stupid that they did that to you two.

  57. I am curious to know if anyone will get a response from any of the emails sent. I sent a fairly well thought out one too them, but Im pretty sure most of them will just end up in the trash.

    Maybe going higher up than the SM would be another way to go?

  58. I just mailed them too.
    Here is what I said….

    I was recently informed that one of your Saddle Ranch Chop House restaurants denied service to a couple of customer on the basis that they had gang tattoos.
    If you read this along with all the other e~mails you have received I’m sure you’ve learned she is the proprietor of a huge web site.

    It’s just me but I think this has the potential to hurt your business and image.
    I would advise you or your P.R. manager to give a formal apology.
    Here is a link to contact her through her site.
    support@bmezine.com

    I think we got them now….I just think it’s right to give you an apology.

  59. I don’t know, there seems to be something else going on. My husband and I both have our hands and neck tattooed and I even have a small facial tattoo. I and my husband dine at that exact restaurant 4 or 5 times a year and neither I or my husband have ever had any problems.

  60. The first picture I had up was from a show at the CanvasLA gallery. This picture is from out vacation in Hawaii. I don’t seem to have any pictures of us without sunglasses on!!

    Norm was not wearing a Vandals hat and tshirt with bolt cutters. He was simply wearing a flannel and jeans and a tshirt. I was wearing the same thing since we both tend to wear flannels.

    As far as Norm having any “gang affiliation” that’s a ridiculous claim. MSK is a graffiti crew, not a gang. He also doesn’t have any visible MSK tattoos.

    Posting that “Norm looks like a thug” is idiotic and clearly an attempt to undermine what we’re trying to do here which is to out the abuse of an “anti-tattoo” policy.

  61. Sounds like you guys got kicked out for questioning them as they asked someone else to remove clothing, which is absolutely outrageous. You questioned their authority, and they didn’t want customers that would cause “trouble” for them in their kingdom.

    Also, it’s pretty obvious that Rachel is probably a leader in a fairy gang. I hear Tinkerbell is her right hand man (woman?) :-P

  62. I questioned their asking Norm to remove his clothing since he was with me. Once I exited the property and my tattoos were noticed as well, I was not allowed back in.

  63. Hahahaha @ Max…

    5-stars? Hardly. From what it sounds like on the sites that review this place, it’s more like a bad slutty version of Chili’s, but with a mechanical bull.

    5-star restaurants don’t have bad reputations or reviews…THAT’S WHY THEY’RE 5-STAR RESTAURANTS.

  64. the picture that was posted last night (which has now been changed for some reason) totally made that dude look like a gang member.

  65. manchester n.h. bme patrons are officially bombing this place on every front, like they killed a baby! we live for this shit!

  66. So I guess I either look like a hipster or a gang member. Make up your mind folks! If wearing a flannel makes you a gang member then I need to go back to my soccer mom look.. Oh wait, the soccer mom store was where I bought my flannel. :)

  67. “Also, I’m not interested in suing them”

    That’s good because you really don’t have a case. I’m willing to bet they have a sign that ‘reserves their right to decline service’ and they obviously exercised that right. Is it correct or moral? No. Is it legal? Yeah.

  68. I suppose that doesn’t happen that often because you had to wrote a blog entry.

    You should try to live in a country where septum piercing is considered extreme. Where you are being refused to give service on a daily basis. Where you are in a constant fear of getting hurt because of your mods.

  69. I am the owner of a pretty well established restaurant in my area. I’m also heavily tattooed, have 1-1/4″ lobes and a 00g medusa.
    if someone came into my restaurant and I even thought for a moment that any of their tattoos or patches or t-shirts could in any way be gang or crew related i would not seat them and would have them escorted out of my business.
    if people come into my place of business looking like they are the king shits of our area i don’t let them in either. Sometimes it’s not about having the mods, its the way you present yourself with them. Yes, If you have a face tattoo and you look me in the eyes for a little too long (a lot of gangs in our area will stare you down.), I will ask you to leave, even if it is a little flower or a heart or something probably no threaten. I know it’s a shame for one modified person to discriminate against another, but when it comes to my business id rather not take chances.

    If you wanna be heavily modified then you can take the heat for being heavily modified.
    I have always hated it when people expect the world to be nice to them. Thats not the way things work and it’s kind of a joke to expect it. You cannot force people to accept you, nor should they be expected too.

  70. ****even if your tattoo probably isn’t threatening. (sorry, it’s 10:30 and a little bit past my bedtime hahaha )

    Im just a firm believer that if you have the choice in doing something (i.e.. being heavily and visibly modified vs. having a condition that you had no choice in whatsoever) you have no right to claim discrimination.

    being politically correct is going a little too far in our world.

    getting flack comes with the territory. maybe people shouldn’t take their visible mods so lightly.

  71. “So I guess I either look like a hipster or a gang member”. The problem is not what you looked like, because (initially at least) they let you in. The problem is what Norm looked like – or, more accurately – what they THOUGHT Norm looked like. Which is presumably why they asked him to remove some of his clothing to form a better opinion. As inevitably happens in these situations, if one member of a party encounters a problem gaining admission, the others get embroiled in the dispute and effectively get tarred with the same brush which in this case was inaccurate to start off with.

    But as has already been pointed out, restaurants and in fact any sort of similar establishment have an implicit right to refuse to admit or serve anyone they choose not to. I would suspect they probably don’t have a blanket ban on visibly tattooed customers although I couldn’t spot any in the gallery on their website. On the other hand, if they see fit to decide on a case-by-case basis that they don’t want to admit someone on the basis of an wrongly identified alleged “gang tattoo” or any other sort of mistakenly sterotyped image for that matter, that’s their prerogative.

    Yes, we as a community can reciprocate by deciding we don’t want to give them our custom. But we’re in the minority as far as their customers go and realistically unless their business is in financial trouble, the dent in their profits is going to be pretty insignificant.

    The decision they took was wrong, as of course is any sort of discrimination or unreasonable refusal. I hope that anyone who gets a reply to the emails they sent will post it here so we can see how they react.

  72. LOL. If by “gang members” you mean “minorities,” then no, you don’t look like “gang members.” God forbid your voluntary choice to alter your physical appearance causes you to be “discriminated” against. If you didn’t want to stand out, maybe you would have thought twice before getting that killer neck tattoo. Cry me a river.

  73. I’m almost tempted to go with Johannes just to see if we’re let in…. not that we would stay.
    If norm wasn’t let in I see no way that Jo would.

  74. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Avatar (The movie)

  75. Krysstii – I understand your point clearly, but unfortuantly it leaves me a little disappointed when you wrote “but when it comes to my business id rather not take chances”. As a modified person who understand the risks of having visible mods (I used to work with the police and courts in the UK and I have a plsit tongue and lots of visible ink), I am aware that there are certain barriers that I will meet, due to people pre-judging me. I accept this. Never the less, reading “but when it comes to my business id rather not take chances” made me cringe as you have basically inferred that people with mods ARE a greater risk than non-visbly modded people and you are helping perpetuate the negative sterotype you calim is wrong. The chop house can now JUSTIFY their stance as a visbilly modded sote owner supported their stance….. if you cant trust fellowed modded, why cant they?

    I know the above is an oversimplification, and you can run your business how you like (as I run my business too), but I felt I had to point out the potential ramifications of your lack of faith in modded people (afterall, maybe they were staring at you cos they are used to being starred at, and wondered why a modded person was eying them with such suspicion?).

  76. @ jen 71. we have all been discriminated against. for perspectives sake, i have 2 foot long dreads and live in vancouver. i get asked for pot at least 3 times a day and have been cavity searched at the airport because of my look. my point is, this is personal and i choose my battles and fight on my own two feet. everyone else can make up their own minds how they deal with discrimation. asking you all to advocate that not all dreadheads are connected to drugs is a bit far fetched.

    my point is, this is a much bigger issue that involves more than two people and one restaurant. be proud of who you are and your appearance. should someone discriminate against you then educate them. should they not listen then take comfort that they will grow old and very alone. fuck me i sound like dr phil ha ha.

  77. Hmmm a place better not to go. But definitely look out for some media coverage. Bad press would be a beatiful measure of pressure – idiots like that schould not win.

  78. i had a similar experience at a higher class indian restaurant where they sat us in the storage closet, we need a system that shows mod friendly and non mod friendly establishments for traveling people to know where to go and not go, i know people who are “green” have a similar system and will only go to establishments that are “green”

    i know of a pet store that employs heavily modded people, great place

  79. Welp I live in driving distance of city walk and visit every once and awhile, and will not be eating there anytime soon. That’s disgusting behavior.

  80. for anyone in the south bay(california), mission ale house doesnt allow visible tattoos either. as in hands, neck and face… my friend(whos a tattoo artist, down to his wrists in tattoos) was asked to remove glasses from his head and then let in, his gf had to have more than 1 form of ID since she apparently didnt look 21, even tho shes 28, and i wasnt even carded, they just looked at me and told me no since i didnt have “facial paint” but rather a tattoo.

    pac sun doesnt allow piercings of ANY sort for their employees, which means tattoos are probably out of the question as well. they dont even allow their female employees to wear mens clothing.

    surprisingly enough Journeys allows tattoos and is iffy on them but facial piercings are now limited and can not be too big.

    Tilly’s doesnt allow anything bigger than 3/8”(10mm) and has a limit on facial piercings

    its ridiculous how stores can be aiming to sell to a certain age group/ crowd and yet still deny people of those genres to not work there. but even more importantly, companies that turn away peoples money. i work just like everyone else and would like to enjoy my time with my friends in different places, just because i look different doesnt mean that my money shouldnt count to you.

    fuck those companies

  81. Pharacist:
    I know a guy with sleeves and 1+ inch lobes that works at Pac Sun. Not saying that it’s the same everywhere, but I guess depending on which one it is, it’s alright.

  82. One of the handfull of “clubs” in my town (Inverness, Scotland) has recently banned “men with visable tattoos” – women are fine, apparantly. The local press went a bit mad about it –
    http://www.highland-news.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/6490/
    Have to say neither myself or any of my friends have been there since. Not so much as a boycott, just that it’s such a dump that we wouldn’t want to. Know the Crass song “Banned from the Roxy”?
    “Ok. Never wanted to go there anyway.” Exactly.

  83. “Do we look like gang members to you? Nope, didn’t think so.”

    I can only assume you mean “Do we look black.” Well, don’t worry, you don’t. I’m sorry I even brought it up.

    Get over yourself. Seriously. At what point in your childhood did your parents tell you “Get all the tattoos you want, it’ll never come back to bite you down the road. It won’t color the way people think of you, and it won’t lead people to make judgments about your personality.” I’m just assuming it was your parents that told you that, and not you being a fucking retard, but I guess I could be wrong. Either way — SURPRISE! Life doesn’t work that way. We should blow up the world, I mean, that’s the only FAIR thing to do, right?

    Nevermind that Japan, China, Russia, the Middle East, most of Africa, various pacific islands, and parts of south America use tattoos *exclusively* to mark gang activity. But that shouldn’t have any impact on you, I mean, you’re white, not some goddamn savage from overseas. They should know better just from looking at you.

  84. I think we’re approaching this the wrong way. Instead of boycotting this place, we should show up en’mass and effectively block access by others. A few dozen of us detained at the entrance would certainly slow down business and perhaps encourage them to think better of their admission policy. When management has to turn away dozens of people simply because of some arbitrary “dress code”, they may revise it to be a little more “friendly”. Words tend to be meaningless unless there is hard evidence to back them up.

  85. hmmm . . . at the saddle ranch here in arizona, i would venture to guess that 3/4s of the wait staff/bartenders were tattooed, and a couple rather heavily (i dont usually go there, we just happened to be right there and needed a beer)

    also, the employee tshirts and stuff with the name of the bar on it were all drawn in a tattoo style and with tatto imagery.

    not to mention all the douchebags with tattoos just eating and drinking there.

    its very strange that they kicked you out.

  86. also, comments about them “making” you or “forcing” you to show them your tattoos or take off your clothes is just ridiculous. you dont “have” to do anything. you just leave. i would never take my clothes off so they could inspect me.

    by the way, im not saying i support this or this restaurant.

  87. MDK:
    What is wrong with you? Are you sure you are on the right website, because you sound pretty bitter about modded people. Maybe if you are you should stay away from heavy mod sites like BME.
    No one has the right to discriminate against you, and I consider refusing access to establishments because of tattoos and piercings discrimination. I’ve had this happen to me and my family recently, and it’s hurtful and rage-inducing. People get tattooed, people get pierced. It’s 2010 not the dark ages, we should be past the point in society where tattoos and piercings automatically make you a scary bad person.

  88. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » ModBlog News of the Week: July 9th, 2011

  89. THESE PEOPLE ARE CLEARLY NOT GANG MEMBERS THEYRE JUST A WHITE COUPLE TRYING TO GET SOME FOOD. PERSONALLY IVE BEEN THERE MYSELF, AND I ALSO HAVE SEVERAL TATTOOS. I HAD NO PROBLEM GETTING IN. BUT I DNT LIKE HOW THE TWO OF YOU GOT TREATED ITS A SHAME TO SEE OR HEAR THESE TYPES OF STORIES…

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