To Twerk or NOT to Twerk

True Kitchen Mural
True Kitchen Mural

Photos and story by Ashley Moss and Jirah Mickle

Twerking caused quite a stir in Dallas recently. 

Businessman, attorney and entrepreneur Kevin Kelley, owner of TRUE Kitchen + Kocktails, 1933 Elm St in Dallas, dominated posts on social media after a viral video showed him calling out female patrons for twerking (a form of dance that involves the movement of your hips) in his restaurant. 

“We had a few groups of ladies who got rowdy and started to twerk on some of the furniture,” he said. “It was an isolated incident with just a few of the women (customers). We talked to them and explained that it wasn’t appropriate for the restaurant. I was very polite (in the beginning), but ultimately I became frustrated, and we asked them to leave the restaurant.” 

Read the restaurant’s full statement here

Kelley said his expression of that frustration showed in his use of the “F-word” and may have been too strong, but he stood by his decision to stop the provocative dance moves, noting that he did it to command respect “for the culture.” 

Kevin Kelley/Courtesy of kelleyfirm.com

“I shouldn’t have used that word,” said Kelley. “But I’m passionate about this restaurant and this concept. I developed it (partially) with women in mind, and (the twerking) was an offense to me and also to everyone I serve.”

“Anybody who comes into the restaurant and disregards what we’re trying to create for our people is not only putting the restaurant at risk but putting (our people) as well.”

Despite those who have been critical of Kelley’s delivery, he’s also received support for speaking out on appropriate v. inappropriate behavior and providing a “classy” environment and quality product for patrons.

Clearly he’s doing something right, according to satisfied clients.