Inside Dirty French, the Restaurant Where All Servers Must Wear Air Jordans

At Dirty French, the New York City restaurant from the Torrisi and Carbone team, the whole staff wears Air Jordan sneakers
"Hey waiter, can I get a side of those sweet kicks?”


"Hey waiter, can I get a side of those sweet kicks?”

Dirty French, the Franco-American restaurant owned by the Torrisi/Carbone team, may be one of the culinary hotspots in New York City, but it has a casual side, too.The gastronomic masterminds who brought you Parm, opened Dirty French last year inside the Ludlow Hotel with a couple of quirks, namely that all servers are required to wear authentic Air Jordans. The iconic footwear adds an air of whimsy to the three-dollar sign, highly regarded eatery.

“It was always a dream of mine to open a restaurant where the whole staff wore Jordans,” co-owner Jeff Zalaznick, a self-proclaimed Michael Jordan obsessive fan told First We Feast. “It [finally] made sense at Dirty French because the restaurant has an ’80s theme, and that was the decade when Jordan started making shoes and sneakers started to become a big part of culture.”

The shoes are all retro, dead-stock, or re-released editions of the iconic sneaker and they are cleaned on a regular basis. Staff members must have their sneakers checked at the end of every shift, and get to keep their pair after being a part of the Dirty French team for a year.

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Zalaznick’s favorite memory? When Number 23 himself visited the restaurant and when asked what his favorite part about the meal was Jordan reportedly said, “I love the food, but it’s got to be the shoes.”