Restaurant’s big change – after workers deny entry to Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe and his girlfriend Britney Theriot were turned away from Melbourne eatery Mr. Miyagi.

Russell Crowe and his girlfriend Britney Theriot were turned away from Melbourne eatery Mr. Miyagi. Photo: Getty

One of Melbourne’s best-known restaurants has updated its dress code after overzealous staff denied entry to a casually dressed Russell Crowe and his girlfriend.

Crowe and his girlfriend, actor Britney Theriot, were turned away from Japanese restaurant Mr. Miyagi in inner-city Windsor last week because they were wearing exercise gear.

Crowe and Theriot are in Melbourne while the Gladiator actor films crime thriller Sleeping Dogs.

One day last week, the star couple had played some tennis and were on Melbourne’s Chapel Street looking for a bite to eat afterwards, when they decided on Mr. Miyagi.

However, they were still in their exercise clothes, which did not fit the restaurant’s “casual but fancy” dress code. “Work gear, activewear, singlets and thongs” were all singled out as forbidden.

Crowe’s manager Grant Vandenberg confirmed their rejection.

“He [Russell] went there wearing a brand new Ralph Lauren polo, having just played a game of tennis, and was turned away,” he said.

Mr. Miyagi owner Kristian Klein said the employee who denied them entry did not recognise the home-grown Academy Award winner or his actor partner, calling it a “very unfortunate situation for everyone”. He initially stood by the strict dress code.

“We treat everyone the same. It doesn’t matter who you are or if you are Russell Crowe. We’ve got a dress code that we push across every level,” Klein told the Herald Sun.

“We are consistent with it and I don’t feel like it’s unreasonable.

“But I know personally if I’m in my thongs and my boardies, I’m not going to try to go to a nice restaurant, because I wouldn’t be dressed appropriately.”

But, after the story gained local attention last week, it was picked up by US publications, including The New York Post, on Monday.

“Not even Maximus is above the rules,” the Post wrote, in reference to Crowe’s Gladiator character.

By Tuesday, Mr. Miyagi took a different tone – with a pointed adjustment to its dress requirements.

A sign posted outside the restaurant now reads: “Dress smart casual. Unless you’re Russell Crowe, then wear whatevs.”

The restaurant also posted a picture of the cheeky sign on social media, acknowledging that it and the actor had got off “on the wrong foot”.

“After much reflection on what occurred, we have made a permanent change to our dress code,” the caption read.

“We would love to see you again in the future, you’re always welcome at Mr. Miyagi.”

Despite Mr. Miyagi’s efforts to make peace, Crowe is yet to respond.

He has, however, been busy on social media promoting his upcoming film, The Pope’s Exorcist, and retweeting posts from the likes of wildlife warrior Robert Irwin and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

He’s also document “secrets of Melbourne” on Twitter, with random snaps of city landmarks – a series he specified was “for tourists, not locals”.

One photo showed the Cow Up a Tree sculpture, in Melbourne’s Docklands, while others include ducks on a pond, the city skyline and a close-up of the West Gate Bridge.

It isn’t the first time Crowe has shared his adoration for cities and their offerings on social media.

In 2021, Crowe managed to score an unofficial ambassadorship to Thailand after tweeting up a storm about the country’s food and culture.

His love for Thailand caught the eye of the country’s dignitaries, who organised an official ceremony to present him with flowers and gifts in appreciation.

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