Disgraceful | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 06, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:12 PM, July 08, 2017

Disgraceful

Uttara eatery bans foreigners

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An upscale rooftop restaurant in the capital's Uttara has put up a sign banning foreign citizens, giving in to the landlord's pressure.

Lake Terrace, on the Lake Drive Road, has the sign pasted at the entrance of the five-storey building and near the elevator; the move is viewed by many to be in contravention of the country's custom of being hospitable to guests.

"Due to Holey Artisan incident and after receiving a notice from our landlord; we are not allowing any foreigners in our restaurant. We are ashamed and pitiful from our soul for this message. Please accept our apologies and wait till farther notice," [sic] it reads.

The restaurant, established in 2012, overlooking the Uttara Lake, offering seafood and steak used to attract a trendy crowd including many foreigners until the prohibition came into effect around a month after the July 1 terrorist attack at Holey Artisan.

 Some foreign nationals who went to the restaurant recently said they were embarrassed.

"It's really frustrating," said Simon, a German student, who was barred from going to the restaurant last week.

Simon, who has been staying in Bangladesh for the last few months, said he never saw such a notice in front of any restaurant.

"It seems like a reminder to the foreigners that they are not safe here and that there is a risk in staying here," he told The Daily Star.

Some of the Bangladeshis who often hang out at the restaurant said the move would give a negative impression of the country.

"The foreigners would think that we have a hostile attitude towards them," said Jisan Rehman, an employee of a multinational company.

He added that he was mortified in late March when he tried to dine there with a foreign friend.

"The security guards didn't let us in. I was embarrassed and insulted. I don't know how my friend felt. Where would the image of the country go?” he told The Daily Star.

He added that increasing the security measures would have been the right approach.

Lake Terrace Manager Sohel Rana said, "The management followed the landlord's instructions of barring foreigners on security grounds after the Gulshan café attack."

Asked, owner of the building Waliul Hasanat said, "I've taken the decision as foreigners are the primary targets of the terrorists. Who would take the responsibility if something bad happens?"

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