3500 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608
I for one am sick of being bullied by people who are flatly wrong.
I had a very bad experience at Chopstix Cafe (Chopstix Cafe
3500 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608) today, and I wanted to take the time to let them know that they crossed someone who leads a public life and that they made a mistake on a number of levels.
I was rudely (VERY rudely) kicked out of Chopstix today for being barefoot under the false pretense that it is a violation of Florida health-code. First of all, it is NOT and has never been a violation of health-code, and secondly the man who confronted me with this misinformation was rude and obstinate about it, which was doubly embarrassing for him as he was 100% wrong. By the end of my attempts to fill him in on the laws he should know as a restaurateur, he was, rather like a bratty child, just barking the word “SHOES!” over and over again. A friend who was along for this as a witness was embarrassed for him.
Fact: (see enclosed letter below) It is, in fact, NOT a health-code violation of any kind to go barefoot into restaurants in Florida. Secondly, the individual was obnoxious about it and rigid in his determination to kick me out even though he was so totally in the wrong and ignorant of the law.
There are dozens of restaurants in town that I can go into freely, where the staff is educated in regards to Florida Department of Health codes, are friendly towards me, and don’t feel some perverse need to dictate my lifestyle and behavior. As a person who eats out frequently, and often with others, I will not be returning to Chopstix. Why they don’t want my money and my word of mouth business I can not imagine.
So, if you are a freedom loving person who enjoys your personal liberties and the right to choose, I suggest you eat elsewhere. But, if you are a Gainesvillian who enjoys having a business tell you what personal liberties you can and can not choose to enjoy, then Chopstix is for you… bon appetit!
Here is a link to the download of the OFFICIAL statement from the Florida Department Of Health:
If you do not want to download that official letter, the information below should settle the issue:
“The Department of Health does not have any laws, codes, or regulations requiring patrons in restaurants, retail establishments, grocery stores and the like to wear shoes or other footwear.”
So, as you can see, Chopstix Cafe, 3500 Southwest 13th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608 had no legal reason to deny me entry, and they were wrong in doing so.
Link to download of Health Dept. letter below:
P.S. To ward off other arguments or comments that are erroneous, for one, bare feet do NOT stink, feet stink because people keep them trapped in bacteria incubators (shoes). Additionally, the “cleanliness” argument falls flat as I know my clean and perfumed bare feet are far cleaner than that of the average busboy who goes out to the dumpster in his shoes then walks through the kitchen. As a barefoot person, I am very conscious of what I step in, people who wear shoes are not. So far as liability goes… I, for one, do not want to live in a society where we limit our personal liberties for what is, frankly, an absurd legal system. Additionally this blog is not about whether or not he had a right to kick me out, it is over the fact that he had no right to do so under the flatly false pretense that it was a health code violation, and being as flatly wrong as he was, he certainly had no right to be obnoxious about it as well.