A Black child dressed in athletic attire was denied entry at a restaurant in Baltimore while a white child who wore a similar outfit was apparently served.
Monday on Facebook, Marcia Grant posted videos and photos from the incident at restaurant Ouzo Bay, which would not allow her son Dallas, 9, to eat at the establishment because he was wearing “athletic wear” consisting of a T-shirt and drawstring shorts.
While talking to a manager, Grant points out that a white child – wearing a similar outfit of a T-shirt, athletic sneakers, and shorts – appears to have been allowed in with his family. It is unclear if the white child’s shorts were also drawstring, or ones categorized as “athletic” or “gym.”
“Unfortunately, we do have a dress code,” the manager told Grant. “Um, if you, you know, if you have some non-athletic shorts.”
“So, you’re telling me my son can’t eat here because he has on athletic stuff?” Grant exclaimed.
“No, no, no, just the shorts,” the manager replied. “It is part of our dress code.”
The manager also claims that he didn’t get a good look at the white child’s clothes and whether or not they were in violation of the eatery’s “dress code.”
In her caption, Grant says she herself has “faced racism time and time again,” but gets “upset” seeing her son “being treated [differently]” than a white child.
“Ouzo Bay would not let Dallas eat at there restaurant sighting that athletic wear was not allowed!” she wrote. “I pointed out to them that there was a white child that also had on athletic wear just getting up from dinning there, they still would not let my son eat there! I have faced racism time and time again, but it’s hard --, when you have to see your child (9yo) upset because he knows he’s being treated different that a white child!!!”
Grant also posted a picture of the restaurant’s “House Rules,” which says, “No active wear, no gym clothing, no sweatpants.”
After the incident went viral, Atlas Restaurant Group — which owns Ouzo Bay — issued an apology to Grant and her son for the “disturbing” and “painful” event.
They also noted that the manager seen in the video has been placed on “indefinite leave,” and that they have “immediately revised our dress code policy so that children 12 years old and younger, who are accompanied by an adult, will not be subject to a dress code at any Atlas property.”
Additionally, the company says all employees “will continue to receive diversity and inclusion training during this very important time.”
Today, we learned of an incredibly disturbing incident that occurred at one of our restaurants in Baltimore, Ouzo Bay. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son & everyone impacted by this painful incident. This situation does not represent who or what Atlas stands for. pic.twitter.com/jsofGRLVw1— Atlas Restaurant Group (@AtlasBaltimore) June 23, 2020