A Baltimore restaurant manager turned away a black woman and her son due to the boy’s outfit — despite serving a white child dressed in similar athletic wear, video shows.
A clip posted to Twitter shows the woman, Marcia Grant, being told by a white manager during a visit to Ouzo Bay over the weekend that the eatery would be unable to accommodate her and her son due to the boy’s athletic shorts, which violated the restaurant’s dress code.
“Unfortunately we do have a dress code,” the manager told Grant. “Um, if you, you know, if you have some non-athletic shorts.”
The video then shows a nearby white child dressed in a similar way who was apparently allowed to eat at the Greek seafood spot — but the manager insists the second boy was not wearing athletic shorts.
“I’m sorry, I would love for you to be able to come back and eat here,” the manager said.
“So you’re telling me my son can’t eat here because he has on athletic stuff?” Grant pushes back.
“No, no, no, just the shorts,” the manager replied. “It is part of our dress code.”
The Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, said in a statement hours after the video was posted that the manager had been placed on indefinite leave.
“We are sickened by this incident,” the statement read. “We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son and everyone impacted by this painful incident.”
The restaurant has also immediately revised its dress code — which was not “intended to be discriminatory” — to leave children under the age of 12 exempt from its policies.
“We know we failed in this instance and sincerely hope to be afforded the opportunity to meet with Marcia Grant and her son, who both deserved better,” the statement continued.
In September, another Baltimore eatery owned by the restaurant group, Choptank, banned “baggy clothing, sunglasses after dark and bandannas,” prompting criticism, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The restaurant later modified the new dress code, but said the allegations of discrimination were “unfortunate,” the newspaper reported.
Grant, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment, the Baltimore Sun reports.
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