A mother-of-two has hit out at a popular beachside venue after she was denied entry because of her tattoos honouring “love and family”.
Katie Hally was at Burleigh Pavilion on the Gold Coast to celebrate a friend’s 45th birthday on Saturday when she was stopped by security.
Ms Hally said she was making her way inside the venue when the doorman told her she was not allowed in due to the bar’s tattoo policy.
The Queensland mum took to social media on Sunday to vent her frustration at the situation, labelling it “a joke”.
“I got denied entry to the Burleigh Pavilion yesterday afternoon,” Ms Hally wrote.
“Apparently my ‘neck’ tattoos from 2010 that mean.
“Family, love and happiness are too offensive or intimidating in 2023.”
The Burleigh Pavilion’s tattoo policy states patrons with tattoos are allowed to enter unless if they are “intimidating, aggressive, or offensive”.
Ms Hally told the Gold Coast Bulletin she disagreed with that description, claiming instead that the tattoos honoured milestones in her life.
“I got the first one – happiness – almost thirteen years ago after I got divorced,” she said.
“The second one, ‘family’ I got done with my sister, and the third one I did last, ‘love’, in the hopes I could find love again.
“I understand why the policy exists, but the manager could have used her discretion.
“She could have been more caring and assess people on a case-by-case basis but they didn’t.”
Ms Hally did return after changing into the one collard shirt she owned, but described the experience was “insulting”.
“I would have loved to have not returned,” Ms Hally said.
“It was just so disappointing and insulting – I’m a law-abiding citizen.
The refusal by the popular venue is not the first to make headlines this year after mother Rachel Ubaldino was denied entry in January.
Ms Ubaldino said she was left “shocked and embarrassed” after she was denied entry to the Burleigh Pavilions because of a neck tattoo.
British bodybuilder and actor Martyn “The Nightmare” Ford was denied entry to the same bar in June while in the country filming.
The Mortal Kombat 2 star said he was turned away by the venue because of sleeve tattoos which don both of the 41-year-old’s arms.
Last year, local Maori woman Jadene Kini was told her moko kauae was against the dress code, despite her trying to explain its significance.
Burleigh Pavilion has been approached for comment.