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No shirt, no shoes, no service – WYTV

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Len Rome’s Daily Feature of Little Known Facts
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(WYTV)- “No shirt, No shoes, No service” or maybe “Shirt and Shoes Required.”
Where did that sign on a business come from? When and why?
Here’s a theory: an author named Terry Anderson wrote a book called the Movement and the Sixties and he said the signs began popping up in the late 1960’s in reaction to the hippies and their so called counterculture. Business owners were looking for ways to keep out long haired, barefooted people.
A history professor at the University of Washington, illiam Rorabaugh, said yes, business owners thought hippies were undesirable patrons. One sign said simply ‘No long hairs.’ And another sign we started to see around 1970 was ‘Please wait to be seated.’
Until then, you might see this in only a very fancy restaurant but once long haired hippies roamed the streets many restaurants got pickier. If you lived in costal Florida as far back as the 1950’s, you might have seen “No shirt, No shoes, No service” signs, and this was well before hippies.
That’s because beach towns have a long history of dealing with shirtless and shoeless customers, they’re right at the beach, of course. Almost all restaurants and even snack bars by the water made you wear shirts and shoes to order food. The signs never had anything to do with health codes.
It is legal for a business owner to kick out a customer not wearing shoes as long as the owner consistently enforces that rule for everyone.
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