A North Side Chicago arcade bar has banned customers from wearing the red “Make America Great Again” hats used during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The owners of Replay Lincoln Park made the announcement over the weekend via Facebook. They’ve also banned people with facial tattoos in the same post.
Replay wrote that the dress code would be “strictly enforced.” The post only refers to “specific hats” and uses a picture to illustrate the ban. In April, a court ruled that restaurants could refuse to serve those wearing Trump hats. Over the weekend, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at a Virginia restaurant.
See Replay’s full post below.
“After much consternation and consideration and to maintain a ‘classy environment,’ Replay Lincoln Park has implemented a new and strictly enforced dress code. No face tattoos, no specific hats, please see below. Let’s keep it classy Chicago. Sincerely, management.”
The Facebook announcement could be a joke. Replay’s Facebook later account backed off the face tattoo ban and wrote “Ok ok all face tattoos are ok, just no very specific hats.” Replay also wrote: “Ok, no gang face tats. Classy face tats are ok.” Later, when commenting on the MAGA hats: “Ok they can come in but they’ll have to pay to play the games. Free speech but for a price.”
Arcade bars like Replay tap into ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia with vintage video games. Ironically, some arcade owners in the ‘90s implemented their own bans on baseball caps. Old arcades, such as Dennis’ Place for Games — once located east of Belmont and Sheffield, only a few blocks south of Replay — would post signs banning all caps on customers. Owners were afraid of street gang violence. Gang members would often wear caps with certain logos or colors to display their affiliations. Sometimes that would lead to violence between rival factions.
Reaction to the post has been predictably positive considering Chicago’s negative relationship with Trump. That’s especially evident in how he falsely describes the problems behind the city’s gun violence. Last week, the Wiener’s Circle — the infamous Lincoln Park hot dog stand — bashed the president on its marquee over his immigrant family separation policy: “Tiny hands. Tiny wiener. Tiny heart. Free the kids.” Many Chicago restaurants and breweries have launched campaigns to raise money for organizations like the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights to fight the policy’s effects.
Sixteen, the Michelin-starred restaurant inside Trump International Trump, closed earlier this year after business struggled in part because of the president’s attitude toward the city. A new restaurant will soon open as there are concerted efforts to deemphasize the Trump name on the building.
- Trump Tower Chicago Is Trying to Lure Restaurants by Ignoring the President’s Name [Eater Chicago]
- Trump Tweets Bad Review of Restaurant That Kicked Out Sarah Huckabee Sanders [Eater National]
- Trump Tower’s Two-Michelin-Starred Chicago Restaurant Sixteen To Close [Eater Chicago]
- The Trump administration’s separation of families at the border, explained [Vox]
- Wiener’s Circle sign trolls Trump — again. This time for immigration policies [Tribune]
- Chicago restaurants organize fundraisers to fight immigrant family separation [Tribune]
- Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights [Official Website]
- Bars Can Legally Refuse to Serve People in MAGA Hats [Eater National]
- Replay Lincoln Park [Facebook]
- Trump, pressed on gun control, says Chicago a ‘total disaster’ despite tough laws [Tribune]