Detroit Restaurant Makes Facebook Post Saying People Who Smell Like Weed Can't Eat There
Critics of the restaurant's post say the comments are coded racism, but the owner says his Facebook statement was just “a little bit of sauce.”
Published on March 30, 2021

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A Detroit steakhouse has fired shots against people coming into the eatery smelling... loud. Last week, Caucus Club made a Facebook post that specified that the scent of cannabis is not what it considers “business attire.” 

“Seriously people, hoodies and jerseys are not business attire. Neither are ball caps and sneakers,” the post said, going on to draw blood over the green. “Most importantly, if you smell like marijuana don’t even think of stepping inside the Caucus Club.”

The restaurant describes itself as a “modern take on the classic dining experience perfect for Detroit's revitalization.”

The post went mildly viral, drawing applause from diners who have apparently had a lot of problems with other patrons in the restaurant smelling like weed. Others called out the post for the inconsistency in its messaging and coded racism in the kind of wardrobe it cited as unacceptable.

“The marijuana today .. is not the smell back in the day .. believe me I know,” wrote one Facebook user. 

“What about bad breath from drinking Alcoholic [sic] beverages?” asked another. 

“Could have left it at business attire, ‘cause we all know what the description sounds like or is trying to say lol,” wrote another. 

When interviewed by a local news station, the Caucus Club’s owner George Sboukis said that the restaurant has fielded complaints from customers about people wearing more casual outfits to the steakhouse, and showing up for their porterhouses reeking of bud. 

“We’ve had people celebrating their 50th [anniversary] last week, the week before that,” he said. “They’re getting dressed up, they're putting on an evening gown, their earrings, their best suit. They’re coming out to celebrate and they expect to be surrounded by like-minded guests.”

Apparently, that like-mindedness hinges on fellow diners’ pre-meal consumption habits. 

“It’s so pungent, some of the guests have commented, ‘It smells like you’re seated next to a dead skunk,’” Sboukis said. 

But marijuana consumers failed to see the point in the restaurant being rude to the plant’s users on Facebook. 

“‘Don’t even think about stepping inside’ lmao,” wrote one Facebook user. “Who talks to their clientele this way? You couldn’t have worded it a little more professionally at the very least? For someone that’s trying to ask for more professionalism from their patrons, you sure are doing a poor job of acting that way yourself.”

It’s not entirely clear that the steakhouse owner heard these concerns. 

"It was a reminder with a little bit of sauce just to get people’s attention,” Sboukis said. “I don’t mean any harm by it.” 

Certainly, it seems as though he’s not planning on changing his social media tune anytime soon. Yesterday the Caucus Club Facebook page had a new post, “When you think smelling like skunk is sweet, you’re the one who’s out of touch ...” it said. The rumination was accompanied by a clip of cancelled cartoon star Pepe Le Pew doing his thing and non-consensually kissing Penelope Pussycat. Clearly, they’re not over-concerned with offending everyone at the Caucus Club — just the well-dressed and under-stoned. 

Caitlin Donohue
Caitlin Donohue is a Bay Area-raised, Mexico City-based cannabis writer and author of She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics and the World. Her weekly show Crónica on Radio Nopal explores Mexican marijuana culture and politics in the prohibition era. Follow Caitlin on IG @byrdwatch.
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