BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Atlas Restaurant Group on Monday apologized to a Black boy and his mother who were denied service at Ouzo Bay over the weekend due to an alleged dress code violation despite a similarly-dressed white boy being allowed to dine at the restaurant.
A video of the encounter posted on Instagram shows a restaurant employee telling the woman her son’s outfit violates the restaurant’s policy banning athletic shorts. The woman points out the white child’s similar clothing and repeatedly asks the employee why her son can’t dine at the restaurant when the other child could.
In a statement, Atlas Restaurant Group said they were “sickened” by the incident and said it should never have happened.
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
“This difficult situation does not represent who or what Atlas Restaurant Group stands for,” the statement reads. “While dress codes across Atlas properties are the result of ongoing input from customers, in no way are they intended to be discriminatory. That said, this past weekend’s incident at Ouzo Bay clearly serves as a moment we will learn from and create change.”
The manager in the video has been placed on “indefinite leave,” the statement said.
Another Baltimore restaurant owned by Atlas, Choptank in Fells Point, also drew criticism for its dress code last year, leading the restaurant to make changes to its policy.