A Sunderland dad was left angry and embarrassed after being forced to leave a seafront restaurant because he was wearing shorts.
Steven Hutchinson, 36, was turned away from Fat Buddha on Whitburn Road, in Seaburn, for wearing dress shorts.
Steven, from New Silksworth, had been walking along the beach with pal Ryan Lloyd, 27, around 5pm on Tuesday when they decided to stop for food at the popular Asian-infusion restaurant.
But the friends were refused entry to dine as Steven did not meet the dress code.
The dad-of-one, who was wearing cream coloured designer knee-length shorts, with trainers and a Hugo Boss T shirt, was left shocked at the way he was treated.
He said: “It was a red-hot evening when I was going or a walk along the seafront with my friend and we decided to go for something to eat. “It was around 6pm and when we went in the doorman said shorts aren’t allowed after 7pm, so we walked in fine, but then the lass at the till stopped us and said, ‘shorts aren’t allowed after 5pm, so you can’t come in.’ “I was really embarrassed.
“The restaurant is right on the seafront and 90% of people walking about that night had shorts on.
“The restaurant even has a sun terrace so where it the logic in that?”
After being turned away, the friends were forced to find another place for their tea that night.
Steven, a regular shorts wearer, said he often visited the restaurant at its various branches and had been to the new Seaburn one around ten times without any issues.
But after this incident he said he may reconsider going again.
He added: “It is off-putting and I couldn’t believe it when they said. “It wasn’t even busy at the time and when I looked around I saw a few lads sitting down with caps on. So where do they draw the line?”
The duty manager at the Fat Buddha in Seaburn, Bobby Appleby, apologised for the inconvenience, but said nationally the restaurant does have an evening dress code from 5pm.
He said: “The evening menu starts at 5pm and after that time tracksuit tops, football tops and shorts are not allowed.
“But during the day they are allowed and door staff are told to get the message across to the people coming down. “I would like to apologise for the confusion and the inconvenience and we will look into putting up a poster with the dress code clearly displayed at the restaurant.
“Currently the details of our dress code are on our website. “If Mr Hutchinson would like to pop down to the restaurant again, we can sort him out with a voucher to use at the restaurant in the future.”