BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Black mother and son who were denied a table at an upscale Baltimore restaurant shared their story Wednesday morning with a national audience.
This past weekend, Marcia Grant brought her nine-year-old son to eat at the Atlas Group restaurant Ouzo Bay in Harbor East. They were turned away, managers said, because her son had on athletic shorts.
A video surfaced of a manager telling Grant and her son they couldn’t dine at the restaurant because the boy was wearing the shorts.
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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.
“I can only imagine it was based on the fact that Dallas was black,” Marcia Grant said.
She told ABC’s Good Morning America she wanted her son to know she was fighting for him.
“I kept on insisting that the white kid has on the same thing that Dallas has on. Why won’t you let my son in? And, he just would not regardless of how much I pushed for him,” Grant said.
Atlas Restaurant Group owns more than a dozen bars and restaurants in Baltimore, mostly in Harbor East.
In a lengthy statement Tuesday, they said children 12 and under are no longer subject to a dress code, and the company stands against racism.
The company said it will implement diversity training. They called their treatment of Grant and her son “embarrassing and hurtful.”
“He knows I’ll continue to push for him, and we just have to keep on pushing for social justice and for equality,” Grant 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.