John Spellman is a Darwin restaurateur who has introduced a $10 charge for people who wear thongs while dining. Dubbed "thongage," the surcharge is an attempt by Spellman, owner of the Tramontana restaurant, to up the dress code of his patrons. All thongage profits will be donated to a podiatry charity (sic. I am not aware of any) according to Spellman. The restaurateur is no stranger to promotion novelties. In his $1.7 million restaurant there are toilet cubicles with a difference. Men and women enter through the same door to find cubicles with glass doors and walls. But once inside, a press of a button frosts up the glass to opaque.
Darwin is on the fringe of the mineral boom presently being enjoyed by Western Australia and money is rather plentiful for the few but of course some people do not take too kindly to sharing fine dining eateries with uncouth thong wearers (sandal). In rural Australia thongs are the footwear of choice in the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations.