NEWS- Case closed: Jaberwoke code, maybe more, gone
Heading to Jaberwoke for Thursday hip-hop night? Get fitted in your white t-shirt and baggy jeans and head on over– because the controversial dress code that sparked a racial uproar is permanently a thing of the past, says Jaberwoke owner Anderson McClure. However, Jaberwoke's future as Jaberwoke may be in doubt.
In March, McClure sparked a firestorm when he posted a dress code that prohibited specific items including white t-shirts, baggy jeans, and hats without brims– clothing some say is typically worn by young black men.
The explanation– that the code was simply to deter people likely to start fights– didn't satisfy everyone, and this past spring a debate raged for months in the opinion pages of the Cavalier Daily.
McClure tore up his code during a public meeting with angry students and eventually limited Thursday night hip-hop to students only.
"I'm sorry we had to go through it, but I'm pleased with the outcome," says Greg Jackson, a May UVA grad and founder of a "Hoos Against Jaberwoke" Facebook page.
But while Jackson was satisfied, the move enraged a whole new group of people.
"I'm a local, and I pay taxes to support this town, and I can't come in and dance?" asked Liz Morton, a 30-year-old office manager at UVA's school of medicine. Morton and several of her friends– all professionals in their 30s– enjoyed Jaberwoke's Thursday night hip-hop until enforcers of the student-only policy turned them away.
"I don't think any business in this town should turn away local people who are the ones that support this town," says Morton. "I think it's just foul any way you look at it."
So what's a restaurant owner to do?
McClure says he wants to put the dress code issue behind him and declines to comment specifically on any ongoing controversy. He does say, however, that at this point there is no dress code, and everyone over 21– townies and students– is welcome at Jaberwoke every night of the week.
In addition, he points out, big changes are coming to the restaurant this summer: at the end of July, Jaberwoke will close for several weeks for "significant renovations."
Hmmmm. Has the dress code slain the Jaberwock? Stay tuned.