Marcia Grant Baltimore black mother & son denied entry at Ouzo Bay restaurant over alleged dress policy. White child not denied entry. Atlas restaurant group issues apology as 2 managers are fired.
A restaurant group has fired two managers and apologized for what the company calls ‘an incredibly disturbing incident’ at one of its Baltimore eateries in which a black woman and her nine-year-old son were denied service due to the boy’s clothing.
In a video posted lated Monday on social media, Marcia Grant said she and her child, Dallas, were repeatedly told by a manager at Ouzo Bay in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood that they could not eat there because of its dress code prohibiting athletic wear. The video, which shows Grant’s son wearing sneakers, gym shorts and an Air Jordan T-shirt, also recorded another child, who was white, in a similar outfit at the end of his meal at an outside table.
‘It’s hard’ Grant posted on social media of having to see her child ‘upset because he knows he’s being treated differently than a white child.’
Two managers involved in the incident have been fired following an internal investigation, according to Atlas Restaurant Group, which operates Ouzo Bay as well as 19 other restaurants in Florida, Maryland, Texas and the District of Columbia reported CBS News.
‘We are sickened by this incident and we sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son and everyone impacted by this painful experience. They deserved better,’ the restaurant group said in a released statement.
This manager at Ouzo Bay, Baltimore refused to allow Marcia Grant & her son to dine there cuz her son was wearing an Air Jordan shirt & athletic shorts while black even though a white boy wearing an athletic shirt & athletic shorts just ate there.#BlackLivesMatter@smdftbAGAIN pic.twitter.com/E197lIML6z
— dσxxεd Ъuт หσт σuт 🌊🌊 (@twmentality1) June 23, 2020
History of prior discrimination
Atlas also said it would now exempt children under the age of 12 from its dress code.
The incident is not the first time the restaurant company has faced backlash over its rules over what accessories and attire customers may wear. In September, the company’s eatery, Choptank, faced an outcry for rules banning attire including excessively baggy clothing and sunglasses after dark, with the stipulation that ‘management may enforce these policies within its discretion.’
Atlas subsequently revised the policy following criticism it discriminated against black and Latino patrons.
Atlas is co-owned by brothers Alex and Eric Smith, whose father, Frederick Smith, is a vice president and director of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, an operator of conservative-leaning television stations around the country.