Virat Kohli’s One8 Commune restaurant chain finds itself shrouded in controversy; here’s why

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli’s chain of restaurants, One8 Commune, found itself shrouded in controversy on Monday after ‘Yes, we exist’, an LGBTQIA+ activism group said the restaurant was discriminatory to the regard to the community.

In a detailed post shared on Instagram, the page said the restaurant only allowed entry to “straight cisgender couples or groups of cisgender women.” According to the message, the Pune branch, when contacted, said: “Gay couples or a group of gay men are not allowed; trans women are allowed subject to their clothing (sic). »

However, the restaurant denied all charges. “We do not discriminate on the basis of gender,” Amit Joshi, Pune branch, One8 Commune, told indianexpress.com.

Check out the post here.

Calling their policy non-discriminatory, Joshi explained: “We have restrictions on deer entry which means individual boys are not allowed on the premises. This is solely for the safety of the ladies present on the premises.

“If a group of boys and girls come in together, we definitely allow it,” he told indianexpress.com. Asked about entry restrictions for gay couples and transgender men, he said: ‘There are no such restrictions based on gender. They will definitely be allowed.

“Deer are always allowed in our restaurant and we never say no to our customers. We only turn them down when we are completely busy or the boys are wearing shorts,” Niharika Kurrar, Delhi branch, One8 Commune, told indianexpress.com.

Additionally, Indrajeet Ghorpade, founder of Yes, We Exist, told indianexpress.com that the restaurant informed him that trans women are allowed “based on what they wear.” “They are allowed if they wear appropriate female clothing,” he recalls being told by the restaurant.

“We have a very simple policy which states that people who do not wear appropriate clothing will not be entertained in the restaurant. We do not allow sandals or floaties. Everyone is expected to wear either smart casual outfits or smart formal outfits. It’s the only dress restriction we have,” Joshi said.

Kurrar agreed and said, “It’s a fine dining restaurant. We just want people to be dressed appropriately so other guests won’t have any problems. In these cases, we make sure customers politely understand our policies.

Following the controversy, the restaurant also released a clarification addressing all of the allegations. “At One8 Commune, we believe in welcoming all people, regardless of gender and/or preference, with the utmost respect and honor. As our name suggests, we have always been inclusive serving all communities since our inception,” it read.

Read the full post here.

One8 Commune has issued a clarification after being accused of discrimination. (Source: Commune One8/Instagram)
Virat Kohli Virat Kohli’s restaurant chain provides clarification. (Source: Commune One8/Instagram)

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Joan D. Boling