WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1: A popular tourist hangout turned reportedly away a group of US visitors for being too casually dressed — then just hours later let in a Bermudian group in similar clothes.
When a Bermudian complained to Swizzle South Shore’s management, he was told that the rules had changed that day, despite a prominent sign listing a dress code.
He was so annoyed, he took a picture of the Bermudian group, some wearing white T-shirts, sleeveless tops and a cap — right next to the sign forbidding all three.
The Swizzle group’s Jay Correia told us he would be taking the issue up with security staff and that if a mistake was made, efforts would be made to avoid any repetition.
The customer who brought the matter to our attention, a 27-year-old man from the west end, who asked not to be named, said: “A lot of the Americans [who were turned away] were in beach shorts, sleeveless shirts and white T-shirts. The sign at the Swizzle specifically mentions no white vests, no undershirts.
“But another group of Bermudians who turned up more than two hours later, dressed in the same sort of clothes, got in with no problems at all.
“When I spoke to the manager about it, he literally told me that the policy had just changed. I just got brushed off. I asked him to take the sign down, but he refused.”
He added: “I’m sure it was security rather than regular staff who were involved… I’m very concerned about Bermuda tourism in general – and this kind of thing doesn’t help.”
The incident happened after a group of around a dozen US tourists arrived by bus and taxi at the South Shore bar on the night of Sunday, July 8.
The witness said: “It’s the Swizzle Inn — people go there because it’s relaxed and you don’t have to dress up too much. It’s a cool atmosphere with outdoor seating. These tourists had obviously travelled specially to the Swizzle – they looked upset, disappointed and confused at the attitude. They didn’t know what to do at that point. They had obviously got all the way out there then just had to just go back to wherever they came from.”
The 27-year-old added: “The Bermudian group that came along later obviously knew the security at the door — which seemed to make an enormous difference. As a Bermudian, I’m really concerned about this. It’s not what Bermuda should be doing to tourists.”
The sign outside the Swizzle warns would-be guests that hats, skullies, bandanas, and hoods are unacceptable.
The list also prohibits bare feet, baggies (loose-fitting, low-riding jeans), visible underwear – and plain, white Ts or undervests.
The Swizzle group’s Jay Correia said that security staff start at 8pm – and that a higher dress standard is encouraged after 6pm.
He added: “There was an exchange between a customer and my manager, which he didn’t feel very comfortable about and he walked away.
“We will be speaking to the security people who were on duty, but if a mistake was made we will make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“We are not in the business of treating tourists differently from local people. It’s not good business, apart from anything else.”