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.

Paul Gessler

Comments (6)
  1. Fraziely says:

    This is beyond egregious and highly illustrative of an all too common and age-old scenario. Keep your camera’s at the ready and let your hard earned $$ speak for you. Refuse to patronize any establishment who’s staff behave in this manner.

  2. a senior citizen says:

    Different rules for Black patrons is racism and illegal plain and simple. Both kids were wearing T shirts, shorts & sneakers. If they do not allow casual attire like that fine but don’t let a white boy dressed like that in and not a black one. Can’t let a black one in and not a white one either. Rules are rules and should apply equally to all.

    What that restaurant did was 110% WRONG- they treated blacks differently than whites.

    WJZ- please post a list of all the restaurants these racists own so they can be picketed and boycotted. Gosh I have lost a lot of weight and some of my clothes are “excessively baggy” would they not let me in? Of course not I am a white senior citizen……one who will not spend a dime at a racist place & many of us older folks have money & eat out a lot.

    1. Kit Ramos says:

      No they did not treat them different biased solely on “skin color” or race. The two boys outfits may of had some similarity’s but. there’s two key differences between the outfits. 1) the white boys shirt did not have a clearly athletic logo on it. not sure what it was but it looked more like it was either a cartoon or a video game thing. where as the blacks kids tshirt had a big silhouette of a basketball player and the name of a major athlete on it in big bold letters. there’s no way to say that’s not an athletic tshirt. 2) the shorts, the white kid had on Kaki shorts which are allowed The black kid had on those stretchy sporty themed basketball shorts. so even if we where to buy the argument that both are wearing regular tshirts and ignore the fact one clearly had athletic logos on it and the other did not. we still have the issue that one was wearing clearly athletic shorts and the other wasn’t. Contrary to what the lady was trying to claim, the outfits where not similar enough to both be permissible. And that is why they where being denied he really didn’t meet the dress code, his race had nothing to do with it.

  3. Essie Elliott says:

    That young man and his mother are welcome to eat at my home anytime! I don’t know if I could have been so gracious in the face of such blatant racial discrimination. It is indeed sad such things still happen.

  4. Bob says:

    its simple. they have a dress code. race has nothing to do with it.(hell you have to wear so and so clothes for work) also from the video they showed looks like she deliberately did this. hard to believe pll are this dumb. i don’t care if your white,black, or any other race or religion. stop the hate! and in this case definitely DO NOT use your children for personal gain. that **** is sad.

  5. Marie says:

    Bob: “You’re”.
    It’s almost as if your (your= demonstrating possession) poor education has limited your ability to think critically. Did you know you can check books out at the Baltimore Public libraries at no cost? Good luck surviving COVID. You are no doubt a boomer who thinks face masks are a leftist political statement.

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