The Policy and History of our Dress Code
Image below is a midi music controller
Tucson casual. No blue jeans, T-shirts, shorts, sports shoes or that type of attire.
In the guest ranch days from 1946-1965, guests "dressed western." During the daytime, that meant blue jeans, cowboy shirts, boots or maybe just a swim suit at the pool. At night, guests would dress up in the finest western wear available at the time, often trying to out "Dude" each other. Anyone caught wearing a business-style cloth tie in the dining room would have it lopped off with huge flourescent pink hedge shears prominently in view in the dining room. Of course, Arizona's State Tie, the Bola Tie, was always considered very dressed up and very western. Bola Ties came in simple string styles with simple stones or medallions to very complex breaded material with solid gold medallions, inlaid Native American patterns or pesonalized silver. The personalized ties were made by Singin' Sam who came by each week to make personalized leather belts, buckles, bola ties and anything else a guest might want in leather or silver. He would remain that night and sing cowboy songs by the fire.
In 1965, when The Tack Room opened to the public, dress code became a very critical and important conversation. Fine Dining, it was reasoned, demanded fine clothes, but Western Clothes were an important part of the culture and could not be excluded. Also considered in the conversation was the geographical setting of the restaurant and the fact that so many people visit and move to Arizona so that they do not have to wear ties, jackets and similar attire. It was decreed, therefore, that ties and jackets would never be required at The Tack Room. At the same time, it was decided that guests should be encouraged to wear nice clothing and that shorts, blue jeans, T-shirts, sandals, sports shoes and so forth should be discouraged. Tucson's official summer formal shirt, the Guayabera (Mexican Wedding Shirt) would be considered formal summer attire and at first, that was what the waiters wore. Even the maitre d' only wore his tuxedo on Saturday nights so as not to be too pretentious. Eventually, even the waiters began wearing tuxedos each night, but they still smile. :-) To this day, guests have never been required to wear ties or jackets.
Meanwhile, this policy has created a few problems over the years. The first year, Paul Newman, an avid tennis player and regular guest in the guest ranch days, came for dinner in tennis shorts. He was the last gentleman to be seated in shorts for dinner. Periodically guests let us know that they think we should require ties and nicer attire, despite the fact that it would probably drive us out of business in the southwest. The most memorable time this happened was when a lady asked to speak to one of the owners and complained about a gentleman in the corner with his back to her who was dressed in denim jacket and pants. When told that it was Steve McQueen, a regular guest who always came in denim, she then wanted his autograph and agreed that he could stay.
We try to keep those who are dressed up in an area away from those who
are more casual especially on special nights like University Formal and
High School Prom nights. The key is to make certain that all of our guests
are comfortable. Whether dressed in formals or more casual attire, they
are guests in our home and we are thrilled they are here to enjoy The