BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two managers at the Ouzo Bay restaurant in Baltimore are no longer with the company following the latest dress code controversy involving an Atlas Restaurant Group restaurant.
On Monday, Atlas Restaurant Group issued an apology after a video surfaced of a manager telling a woman and her son they couldn’t dine at the restaurant because the boy was wearing athletic shorts. In the video, the boy’s mother asked multiple times why her son, who is Black, was being turned away when another boy, who is white and was dressed similarly, had been able to dine there.
Since then, the restaurant group has said two managers “have been separated from and are no longer with the organization.”
The dress code has also been changed to exclude any requirements for children 12 or younger, and the restaurant group plans to form an advisory board to address corporate social responsibility.
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In a statement, Atlas said “We stand against all forms of racism and believe Black lives matter”
“NOW is the time for change. And we believe that change begins at home – with introspection and self-reflection. We are committed to listening. We are committed to engaging in open, honest dialogue about discrimination and racial inequality – with our team, colleagues, family, friends, and community. We are committed to educating ourselves, to bettering ourselves, and to creating a company culture that celebrates diversity and stands against discrimination in any form,” the group said.
The latest controversy drew backlash online. Sociologist Dr. Rayshawn Ray from the Brookings Institute echoed some of the sentiments.
“What we see is one group of people being held accountable to the fullest extent of the rules, regulations, policies and laws, while another group of people are able to bend and break those rules,” he said.
The restaurant group also said it has tried to reach out to the woman and her son but has so far been unsuccessful.
“What took place was not only disturbing, it was also eye-opening, and we are committed to learning from it and implementing real change as a result,” they said.
Last year, another Atlas Restaurant Group property, Choptank in Fells Point, came under fire for its dress code banning “excessively baggy clothing; offensive, vulgar or inappropriate attire, athletic attire (and) jerseys,” which some people said had racial undertones. The policy was later changed.