The Ivy Chelsea Garden have responded to accusations of racism levelled at them from London singer-songwriter Raye.
Raye took to Twitter yesterday where she shared a video of her and her friends attempting to get into the London restaurant and bar, when they were told that one of them would not be able to due to their attire. Noting that one of her white friends had got in while wearing similar clothing, Raye accused The Ivy of racism. She was soon retweeted thousands of times.
— RAYE (@raye) April 23, 2018
“My colleague, who is a white girl, walked straight into the restaurant wearing sports gear and trainers,” Raye told The Evening Standard. “Then my black friend, who was wearing shorts and trainers, was refused entry. I challenged them on this because to me this is blatant racism. This type of behaviour needs to be called out and spoken up about.
“I filmed the incident because I felt so angry and disappointed. It is heartbreaking that this is still happening in my city.”
— RAYE (@raye) April 24, 2018
Responding to claims from The Ivy that this was due to their policy on dress code, Raye then shared a screengrab from their restaurant stating that they didn’t have one.
“What I experienced was heartbreaking,” she said. “Explicit racism. Not in my city.”
Kwabs also defended Raye, Tweeting The Ivy to say: “At this point you ought to give out some sort of public response to Raye that explains your position undismissively, so that those of us who have the privilege of being able to afford to eat in your establishment can decide whether to go elsewhere.”
Yo @IvyChelsGarden, at this point you ought to give out some sort of public response to Raye that explains your position undismissively, so that those of us who have the privellege of being able to afford to eat in your establishment can decide whether to go elsewhere. https://t.co/DZUjeJPpvS
— Kwabs (@Kwabs) April 24, 2018
A spokesperson for the Ivy Chelsea Garden said: “There was a situation yesterday during which a gentleman was refused entry because he was wearing non smart casual clothing. Unfortunately, a mistake had been made and another member of his party had earlier been allowed in wearing similar clothing.
“The dress code for our restaurant is smart casual. We are sorry that this was not made clear on our website and other channels and this ambiguity has now been rectified.
“The Ivy Chelsea Garden takes all allegations of racism extremely seriously and we will make sure that our dress code is explained to all guests so that this confusion does not happen again.”
Selected as one of the NME 100 most essential new artists to keep an eye on in 2018, this year has seen Raye chart with the singles ‘Check’ with Kojo Funds, and ‘Cigarette’ with Mabel and Stefflon Don.
After a busy summer of festival appearances including Wireless, Raye will be supporting Halsey at her upcoming London shows this September.