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A St. Louis restaurant imposes age restrictions: no women under 30 or men under 35

ROB SCHMITZ, HOST:

A restaurant in St. Louis, Mo., is imposing a new age restriction. And when I think age restriction, I'm thinking 18 or maybe 21, right, Steve?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Exactly. Like, you know, no teens or whatever. But in this case, the restaurant, which is called Bliss, will not admit women under 30 or men under 35. It's for older folks. Co-owner Marvin Pate says they wanted to create what he calls a grown and sexy vibe.

MARVIN PATE: We didn't even think of it being a age discrimination. It was just a age preference that we felt would've been a good age for the music that we play and the type of luxe vibe that we was giving off for the people to really enjoy.

SCHMITZ: Reactions to this luxe vibe are mixed, but Pate says there's enthusiasm for his resort-style concept.

PATE: We've been getting backlash from people who can't come. But the people who can come, they don't want to leave.

INSKEEP: Patrick Nycz at the food and beverage marketing agency NewPoint says he understands the need for a restaurant to distinguish itself.

PATRICK NYCZ: I think just the basic competitive nature of the restaurant industry is you want to attract as many patrons as you can, and then also convert them to loyal customers.

INSKEEP: Even if that limits you to customers over 30.

NYCZ: Any way you can differentiate and make something special for folks, some exclusivity, it makes sense to me in a way.

SCHMITZ: And the reaction online means a lot of free marketing.

NYCZ: The beauty of this is that this could be a launch, and it doesn't mean you can't pivot in a year and say, eh, didn't work, we can go back and turn it around.

SCHMITZ: He says the market will decide if the rule rules.

INSKEEP: And meanwhile, it raises so many questions about society, Rob. Like, why women over age 30 but men over age 35? I mean, there's just so many questions we could debate about this.

SCHMITZ: (Laughter) No comment.

INSKEEP: (Laughter) I bet some people listening think they know why.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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