An Italian backpacker who was asked to leave a popular Bondi restaurant over a “not acceptable” and “revealing” outfit has responded to the apology issued by North Bondi Fish.
Martina Corradi, who was “embarrassed and offended” after being asked to leave the restaurant because of her outfit, told news.com.au “the whole story” to set the record straight since being inundated with messages on social media.
THE FULL STORY
Ms Corradi was at the Bondi restaurant with her boyfriend last Thursday after spending the afternoon at another popular venue, Bondi Icebergs, and later chilling at the beach until deciding to get a drink around 6pm.
The couple then went to North Bondi Fish and requested to be seated outside to watch the sunset but they were ushered inside because they were told “it’s very hot”.
“Once we were seated she said that I had to cover myself because this is inappropriate and it’s a classy venue,” she told news.com.au.
“We looked at her and we said, ‘You just said that it’s very hot, and you didn’t suggest to stay out, we said that was OK.’”
The waitress then said she would call the manager.
“The guy came, he didn’t even say his name or just a simple, ‘Hi guys, how are you?’,” Ms Corradi said.
“He said that this is inappropriate and he said that I had to wear the jacket no matter if it was hot or not, or I had to leave – I chose to leave.”
She added, “You might understand a bit better why I’ve decided to make the complaint. In in this case, why didn’t she ask me to put the jacket on at the door?”
Ms Corradi wore linen pants, high heels and a bralette top.
While some people on social media commented that the top looks a bit like lingerie, Ms Corradi insisted it is “actually a top”.
“I bought it from a clothes shop, they don’t sell lingerie or anything like that,” she said.
“Yes it’s made out of a lace fabric but it’s a top. Some people might don’t like it but I actually like it. I have it in white version, too.”
The restaurant later issued an apology after being slammed on social media when Ms Corradi posted about the incident.
North Bondi Fish general manager Gemma Swanson said the restaurant apologised to Ms Corradi over the “error of judgment” and offered her a free meal, The Daily Mail reported.
“Gemma the general manager contacted me to apologise and she has been very nice and I’ve told her the whole story too,” Ms Corradi told news.com.au.
“She also offered me to come back if I wanted to,” she added.
“I’m saying to everyone, I’m fine I’m happy and I had amazing day. I had a lot of support from a lot of people that I don’t even know. I had never been to NBF, I will probably go back. I have nothing against them. It’s all good really. They’ve been very kind after all.”
Ms Swanson told The Daily Mail on Saturday that the restaurant had “reviewed the incident and acknowledge that it was an error of judgment to ask Martina and her partner to leave the restaurant”.
“We have since contacted Martina, apologised for the error in judgment and invited her and her partner back to enjoy lunch or dinner on us,” she said.
“We uphold a casual dress code and it is clear that Martina should not have been asked to leave. As a result, we will be retraining all of our staff and management on our protocols including dress code.”
She added, “We pride ourselves in welcoming everyone to enjoy the North Bondi Fish experience.”
The incident first attracted attention after Ms Corradi, who is a fitness model and personal trainer, posted in the Bondi Local Loop Facebook group to ask what people thought of the outfit and if it was inappropriate.
“I just want an opinion from outside,” she wrote.
“Even because I felt very embarrassed and offended at the same time! We did the sign in and we took a sit at the terrace outside, under the sun! The waitress as soon as I took a sit she said that I’m not well dressed and this is not acceptable to stay in a place like that!”
She added, “Me and my boyfriend we looked at her and we didn’t know what to say. We were shocked! I just want an opinion. I don’t know, maybe I’m crazy.”
Most people seemed to agree there was nothing wrong with the outfit.
One woman wrote, “Nope you look just fine – ESPECIALLY for the context of Bondi Beach restaurant! And it’s dumb if people are offended by a little boob flesh showing, if you were flat would they then be OK with this look? I hate having to be conscious just because my breasts look great.”
Another added, “Ridic, you look great – it would be inappropriate for the office but not restaurant by the beach.”
One woman even commented, “If you were a blonde Australian girl with an Instagram following in that outfit it would have been a different story.”
Another wrote, “Not offensive at all. Just ridiculous. You look so beautiful.”
Someone else said, “You are gorgeous. The top looks a bit like lingerie and your midriff is showing. In restaurants this can be against their dress code.”
While some guessed her top too closely resembled lingerie and that was why staff called it into question, most agreed the woman was treated unprofessionally – even if it did violate the restaurant’s dress code.