Video shows Maryland restaurant not letting black boy eat for wearing shorts while white kid gets hearty lunch
A manager at the Ouzo Bay was filmed denying service to the mother and son duo even though there was a white boy wearing similar apparel
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: A Baltimore restaurant has been slammed for discriminating against a black woman and her young son by not serving them because of how the boy was dressed while simultaneously serving a white boy who was sporting similar attire.
The shocking incident unfolded at the Ouzo Bay in Baltimore's Harbor East this past week and was caught on video by the mother, Marcia Grant, who then shared it on social media, where it quickly went viral.
"Ouzo Bay would not let Dallas eat at their 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 dining there, they still would not let my son eat there! I have faced racism time and time again, but it’s hard AF, when you have to see your child (9yo) upset because he knows he’s being treated different that a white child!!!"
You can watch the video here.
The clip shows Grant's nine-year-old son wearing athletic shorts, tennis shoes, and an Air Jordan T-shirt, but is denied a seat in the restaurant by a white manager who can be heard telling them that he was violating their dress code.
"They’re telling me that my son can’t eat here because there’s no athletic wear?" she says. "He’s nine. And there’s kids out there with tennis shoes on."
When Grant highlights the manager's hypocrisy and points at another white boy who is also wearing athletic apparel similar to her son's, the manager argues that it was okay since the white kid was not wearing athletic shorts.
After the mother continues stating that the manager was showing double-standards, he appeared to be lost for words and mutters, "I would love for you to come back and eat here" before asking if she lived near enough so that they could go and change.
At this point, Grant asks him to stop showing sympathy and explain why her son was not being allowed when the white boy was given service. The manager says he didn't get a good look at the other child but that he was confident he wasn't wearing athletic apparel like her son.
Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, condemned the "disturbing" incident in a lengthy statement and said they were "sickened" by it. They said the manager shown in the video denying Grant and her son service had been placed on "indefinite leave".
"This difficult situation does not represent who or what Atlas Restaurant Group stands for," they insisted. "While dress codes across Atlas properties are the result of ongoing input from customers, in no way are they intended to be discriminatory."
They said the incident "serves as a moment we will learn from and create change" and that they would be revising their dress code policy so children 12-years-old and younger who are accompanied by an adult will not be subject to any code.
"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," they added.
This is not the first time that the Atlas Restaurant Group has been slammed for its dress code. They had previously been accused of being "racist" after one of their other restaurants, 'The Choptank,' banned "excessively baggy clothing, athletic attire, jerseys, brimless headgear and backwards or sideways hats".