Apparently not all pink, built-for-Instagram restaurants want to be ‘grammed — or at least, not unless it’s on their terms. East Williamsburg/Bushwick cafe Carthage Must Be Destroyed is awash in the ever-popular color for restaurants aimed at the fashion set, but the restaurant has implemented an intense policy limiting what visitors can photograph.
In fact, diners at the Australian cafe are greeted with both a menu and a separate sheet of paper entirely dedicated to a strict photo policy: no photos of the restaurant, no photos of the kitchen, no photo shoots, no video shoots, no flash, no excessive photo taking, and please keep the aisles clear.
Photos aren’t completely forbidden, though the restaurant asks that you only take ones “in your personal space,” according to an Eater tipster.
That one-sheeter is in addition to a line at the bottom of the menu, which says “no photo shoots /no commercial or media photography inside or outside.”
It’s obviously a rule that hasn’t been uniformly followed. A quick scan of the Australian cafe’s Instagram location page shows that a couple people have snapped photos of the dining room or kitchen:
Still, most people seem to be sticking to an overhead shot of toasts and salads, which are served on plates that are different shades of pink. The restaurant re-grams some of these photos, meaning the overhead shot presumably fits into the “personal space” rule.
The severity of the rules has not gone unnoticed. Though user reviews of the restaurant are overwhelmingly positive, even some favorable ones noted that the owners are “so weird about picture taking” or very particular about their rules. The words “screamed” and “snap” were invoked. Others considered it a bonus that the cafe enforced a no-tolerance policy for Instagram obsessives, weeding out “exactly the kind of people the staff would prefer not to come through.”
Eater special projects producer Cliff Endo visited over the weekend and initially thought it was a crazy rule. But eventually, it grew on him:
At first I thought it was pretty ridiculous, because the restaurant screams ‘take pictures of me.’ I thought maybe this is like a Soho House no-photo thing, but we are in Bushwick and this place ain't private. But I respected their wishes.
When I sat at my table, that’s when they hit me with the rule sheet. Then as the meal went on, I realized I probably would be taking pictures the whole time because it was so photogenic. If the food wasn’t good, I would definitely be griping about the policy. But it was, so I left content.
In addition to having a picture-perfect space, Carthage Must Be Destroyed serves particularly ‘grammable food, like avocado toast and fruit plates with “seasonal and exotic” options.
But is it even fair to make your space nearly entirely pink if nobody can post about it on their Instagram? Isn’t it. . . kind of cruel? Eater has reached out to Carthage Must Be Destroyed to find out more.