My Tattoos Aren’t Nearly As Offensive As Your Assumptions

Anyone who understands me well knows that I love Denver. I love the eclectic and vibrant culture here. The people, the art, the culture…fascinating. I’d like to think we are accepting and very open minded to beings of all modified types. Heck, even the “normal”, “clean-cut” ones are interesting. We all represent our own brand in the way we dress, tattoo and otherwise modify ourselves and it’s mostly widely accepted and appreciated in the Mile High City. That’s part of the reason I love Denver…because we’re “cool”.

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Artwork by: Justan Michael Carlson

What’s not “cool” is numerous restaurants, bars and clubs in Denver not allowing people in because they have neck, face and/or hand tattoos. Their excuse? Tattoos on these areas of the body are a violation of the dress code because they are “gang related”. It was first brought to my attention when a local Denver disc jockey’s friend was not allowed to enter the View House Eatery, Bar & Rooftop after 9 PM due to his neck tattoos. So, because we have tattoos on our neck, not only are we not allowed into a place, but we have a curfew? Ding, dong…the pumpkin carriage just reared its ugly head. After hearing about it, I posted on Facebook if anyone else has had a similar experience anywhere else. People started coming out of the woodworks commenting about their personal experiences of being refused entry for having tattoos. Amongst these local dining and entertainment places that have strict “dress codes” are: ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop, LoDos, Brothers and Suite 200 to name a few.

“Lodos said my boyfriend couldn’t come in cause you can see his back tattoo on the the bottom of his neck. They said it was because of gangs… He has a tattoo of a mountain range with a lake on his back…”

“A friend of mine was at Brothers and they wouldn’t let her husband in because he had a neck tattoo.”

“I went to Brother’s once and a friend of mine had a FAKE tattoo on his neck and they wouldn’t let him in until he got it off. But when we couldn’t get it off with just his fingers they escorted him to the bathroom so he could wash it off.”

“I wasn’t allowed into LoDos because I have neck tattoos. They said all neck tattoos are gang related!”

“View House downtown after 9pm will not allow you to enter if you have visible tattoos on your neck or face. Due to “dress code”.

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Artwork by: Justan Michael Carlson

Rest assured…our tattoos are not nearly as offensive as you assuming that we’re in a gang or some other crime related organizations merely because we decided to put a pretty picture of a mountain range with a lake or a tattoo of great significance to our personal lives on our neck. Or hands. Or…FACE. I understand why gang tattoos are prohibited. Bars, restaurants, and other public domains reserve the right to reinforce prohibition of gang related tattoos as part of the dress code. I’m not disagreeing with that. I believe that if these places are going to ban gang related tattoos, they need to research and fully understand what they are. Our tattoos are the colors of our skin. Yes, it is our choice but it is a lifestyle decision that represents who we are. Refusing service to us simply because we have tattoos on certain areas of our bodies is discriminatory.

Next time I go to one of these places that “prohibit gang tattoos” or you know, a piece of art on one’s neck or hands, I’m going to draw a big unicorn on my neck and rainbows on my hands. That is, until I actually get these places of my body tattooed with real art. Denver, I have nothing but love for you but I will rally against these places nestled in your Rocky Mountain glory.

Have you ever been refused service MERELY because of your tattoos or other body modifications? SHARE!

Signed your Chief Editor,

Candies Deezy Liu  @CandeezyLiu



  • June 12, 2013

    baylee goldtrap

    Thanks for featuring my throat! Wish i could read the full thing though !

  • June 12, 2013

    baylee goldtrap

    And my hand

  • June 12, 2013


    Nice art! Obviously not gang related from what I see, unless you are in the “Heart of Gold” gang…LOL

    • October 10, 2013


      If you are in the “Heart of Gold” gang – may I join too??

  • June 23, 2013


    I was refused entry to Pats Cheesesteak Pub across from market street station, you know under the double daughters. I commute down to metro at night a couple times a week and went in there for happy hour at least once a week, then randomly one Tuesday I was refused entry by the bouncer who told me ” we don’t allow white guys with tattoos visible on their hands or neck” I have both. I was shocked, We are talkin about a joint with a chalk sign proclaiming dollar beers! Fuckin dive bar shithole NextDoor to a fucking tattoo shop. I called the manager to make sure the door guy wasn’t being a dick, and he said that I was told correctly. So not only does Pats have a tattoo dress code, but it is a racist dress code. Bullshit, we need a yelp, foursquare list of all these shit holes. My wife orders lunch a minimum of 2x a month for 60 people and pats was one of their regular joints until this happened, they completely lost a corporate client over this.

  • July 27, 2013

    baylee goldtrap

    With in the last two hours I stopped at The Brothers bar in downtown Denver. A bouncer said to me, “Sorry babe, you’re going to hate me, no neck tattoos. I have to turn down my friends for them, company rules.” I’ve never been treated like this, degrading actions.

  • August 4, 2013


    I was denied entry to view house, brothers, and lodos last night, in fact I was let into brothers then escorted out 30 minutes later when a bouncer noticed my neck. I was wearing slacks dress shoes and a suit coat… But my neck put me out of dress code?

  • October 10, 2013


    My friend was denied entry because he had earrings, they wouldn’t let us in until they came out. This was at viewhouse about a month ago. Extremely ridiculous, they said earrings are gang related. We need to take a stand.