Mexican restaurant in N.J. serving up strict dress code

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It’s their way or the highway.

A Mexican restaurant in New Jersey is serving up an ultra strict dress code — despite the fact that it’s on a truck route next door to a QuickChek convenience store.

Cantina 46 — off of Route 46 highway in Ridgefield –has a laundry list of fashion faux pas including: no plain white t-shirts, men’s tank tops/sleeveless shirts, beach attire, sweatsuit/athletic attire, excessively baggy clothing, flip-flops or slippers, work boots or inappropriate headwear.

“We don’t want to be like a regular restaurant, we want to be high end,” partner and manager Joaquin Molina told The Post.

The clothing regulations — which are posted on its website and a sign on the front door — start with “no plain white tees.”

“I don’t know why, but a lot of people think that having a white shirt is being part of a gang,” said Rafael Anaya, hospitality consultant behind the group Anaya, which owns Cantina 46.

cantina 46 ridgefield nj dress code sign
The dress code is plastered on the restaurant’s front door and website.
Aristide Economopoulos For NY Post

Baggy clothing — especially on men — simply doesn’t work alongside bites of the joint’s $138 Tomahawk steak.

“It doesn’t look nice, that you got your pants all the way down here, showing your underwear, while you got a family here eating with kids,” said Molina, 33, a native of the Dominican Republic.

Underneath the dress code, in all capital letters, it states, “We reserve the right to refuse admission.”

Rafael Anaya, Joaquin Molina
Partner and owner Joaquin Molina (right) suggested the policy to his team, which includes hospitality advisor Rafael Anaya.
Aristide Economopoulos For NY Post

cantina 46 new jersey mexican restaurant
A couple was told by the hostess that their attire was against dress code policy.
Aristide Economopoulos For NY Post

That’s what happened on a recent weekday night, when a man with a backwards hat and a woman wearing flip flops strolled in for a bite.

“I said, ‘We have a dress code. I’m sorry,’” said hostess Richely Patricio. “They said, ‘OK, next time.’”

Cantina 46, which opened on April 28, posted the dress code on its Instagram page — and some were taken aback by the stringent policy.

“Look at this one, ‘No flip flops?! No manches.’ ‘No manches’ in Mexico means like, ‘What’s wrong with you, man?’” Anaya, who hails from Colombia, explained.

cantina 46
After the restaurant posted the dress code on Instagram, some users expressed their surprise.
Aristide Economopoulos For NY Post

Others thought the rules were more appropriate for Central Park West — as opposed to Ridgefield Park.

“Are you located in NYC or truck route 46 in Ridgefield Park?” @kadensmommy14 wondered.

“Not a smart business move to turn off potential clients before you even have a customer base,” user @bernoutgsx1 said.

But customers chowing down at the restaurant approved.

“I think it’s a good thing cause a lot of places don’t have a dress code,” said Cassidy Solis. “There’s plenty of other places to eat if you want to chill down with flip flops.”

cantina 46 dress code
Customers at the eatery, which is located on Route 46, seem to like the policy.
Aristide Economopoulos For NY Post

Cantina 46
Cantina 46 has turned people away for not adhering to its dress code.
Aristide Economopoulos For NY Post

Another guest cheered the high-end makeover.

“It’s an old diner that was turned into Chinese food that I never came to for a million years,” said Jamie Rodriguez. “It still looks like a diner, so they’re trying to stand out.”

Meanwhile, spurned customers have returned — but this time dressed to impress, Molina noted.

“They call a manager and say, ‘I was sent away,’ but now I am [dressed correctly],’” he said.

“When they do that, we send them a free drink.”

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