Black woman and son denied service at restaurant due to boy's clothes

The incident happened at Ouzo Bay, a restaurant owned by the Atlas Restaurant Group.

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/ Source: NBC News
By Kalhan Rosenblatt

A Baltimore restaurant group apologized Monday after video surfaced of a Black woman and her 9-year-old son being denied service because of the way the boy was dressed, even though a white boy who was similarly dressed was apparently served.

The mother, Marcia Grant, posted two videos and several still images of the incident to Facebook on Monday, saying that although she had faced racism, it was hard watching her son, Dallas, endure it.

"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!!!" Grant wrote.

The incident happened at Ouzo Bay, a restaurant owned by the Atlas Restaurant Group.

In the videos, a white employee, a manager who has not been identified, tells Grant that she and her son can't be served because of how Dallas is dressed. The boy is wearing athletic shorts, sneakers and an Air Jordan T-shirt.

"Unfortunately, we do have a dress code," the manager beings, as he starts to suggest the boy change if possible into "nonathletic dress shorts."

Grant then turns her camera to a white boy, who is dressed in athletic clothing very similar to Dallas', who appears to be leaving the restaurant with his family after having been served. The manager later claims in the video that he didn't get a good look at the white boy.

Atlas Restaurant Group issued a statement calling the incident "disturbing."

"This should never have happened, the manager seen in the video has been placed on indefinite leave," the statement says in part. "We are sickened by this incident. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son and everyone impacted by this painful incident."

The group said its dress codes are the "result of ongoing input from customers," and "in no way are they intended to be discriminatory."

Atlas said it was immediately changing its policy so that children ages 12 and under aren’t subject to the dress code.

Grant did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment on Tuesday morning.

However, this is not Atlas' first time coming under fire for its dress code. In September, its restaurant The Choptank banned “baggy clothing, sunglasses after dark and bandannas,” according to The Associated Press. The restaurant later modified the dress code, The AP reported.