An Auckland restaurant is under fire after launching a string of personal attacks against a tattooed man who was denied service this week.

A customer named Aaron was asked to leave HeadQuarters in the Viaduct after the owner told him he didn't fit the restaurant's "target market".

But according to Aaron he was denied service at the restaurant because he is heavily tattooed.

"[He said] he couldn't serve us anyway because of how heavily tattooed I am, to which I was enraged and hurled some abuse and left," he told Newshub.


A friend of Aaron wrote a review on the restaurant's page, saying: "Time to rethink your policies. Turning away customers (and money) because people have tattoos is unacceptable. Don't come here."

However, the restaurant has come under scrutiny after owner Leo Molloy responded with personal insults, labelling Aaron a "skinhead", "neo Nazi", and making fun of his tattoos.

The restaurant's owner responded to online criticism following the incident with Aaron. Photo / Supplied
The restaurant's owner responded to online criticism following the incident with Aaron. Photo / Supplied

"Nothing to do with the tattoos as an art form, it was a dress code breach that made other customers feel uncomfortable," he wrote.

"This guy had scribbles all over his head, the top and the sides, and he didn't give a good vibe so we invoked our dress code that precludes such work.

"His behaviour when advised of my decision indicated I'd made a wise choice. We're very happy we did the right thing given he appeared to be and behaved like a skinhead and or neo Nazi type."

Molloy then took aim on Instagram at one of Aaron's friends' dyed hair.

"Can I shout you a decent hair job sometime? I've seen parrots with better colour schemes love.

"I'll make those decisions, you can't have both, it's either nice people dressed well or a couple of inked up punters who seem to have been missing a colouring-in book when they were kids so they've scribbled all over themselves."

Molloy defended his actions, saying the customer didn't meet the dress code before alleging Aaron spat on him at the front of the building.

"I have all the power in the world to impose values. I have all the power. I own the company.

"We do big numbers here and we have a certain type of person we market towards and it doesn't involve people with scribbles.

"I don't care. It's my establishment."