BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Protesters marched through the streets of downtown Baltimore on Friday, demanding the Atlas Restaurant Group drop all dress codes.
This comes several days after a Black mother and her son were denied a table at Ouzo Bay, an Atlas Group restaurant. They were turned away, managers said, because her son had on athletic shorts.
In a viral 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.
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“We’re out here to hopefully get more people to start a boycott and get actual, real change here,” said protest organizer Trey Miller.
Protesters started at Choptank in Fells Point and made their way to Harbor East. With every step, they put pressure on Atlas, demanding they drop all dress codes.
“I thought [the incident] was unfair, and people shouldn’t be doing that,” said protester Naomi Boldon.
The company issued an apology to the family, calling the incident “incredibly disturbing” and said the two managers involved no longer work for the restaurant group.
They said children 12 and under are no longer subject to a dress code, and that the company stands against racism.
The Atlas Restaurant Group also announced Thursday that it will discontinue its dress code policies at its two restaurants in the Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East effective immediately; Bygone and Maximon.
But some people said it’s not enough.
“I’m glad it’s starting to turn a little bit and people are starting to stand up and real change is hopefully on the way,” said protester David Haas.
The company also said it will implement diversity training.