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Baltimore Restaurant Group Argues Not Serving Black Family Over ‘Athletic’ Clothes Wasn’t Racist

After the Atlas Restaurant Group in Baltimore was accused of discriminating against Marcia Grant, a Black mother, and her 9-year-old son, Dallas, on June 21, is now pushing back against claims that the incident was racist. 

Cell phone video captured by Grant shows her attempting to get a table with her son at Ouzo Bay restaurant. A manager tells her they can’t be seated because her son’s wardrobe violates the restaurant’s dress code.

RELATED: Black Family Denied Service Because Of Son’s ‘Athletic’ Clothes Files Lawsuit

Grant is heard asking the manager why she can’t be seated. He claims it’s because of her son’s “athletic” shorts and shirt. The mother panned her video over to a white kid with a similar outfit. 

Following the June incident, attorney Scott H. Marder, who is representing Atlas Restaurant Group, has now released a statement on Thursday (July 2) according to The Baltimore Sun, alleging that the white child was wearing blue khaki shorts and not athletic shorts similar to her son Dallas, Marder linked to a website where the shorts can be purchased. 

Atlas also released several surveillance pictures showing Black customers who were eating throughout the day. 

“Restaurant surveillance video throughout that same day at Ouzo Bay demonstrates that the customers of Ouzo Bay look exactly like the population of Baltimore City — diverse,” Marder wrote.

The statement further explains that the restaurant group believes that the event involving Grant and her son, was a failure of management that day and the managers should have been more accommodating to sit the mother and son. 

 On Monday, June 22, Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, said they were “sickened” by the incident and added, “While dress codes across Atlas properties are the result of ongoing input from customers, in no way are they intended to be discriminatory.” 

Atlas also says children under 12 accompanied by a parent will no longer be subject to a dress code and that two managers have been placed on “indefinite leave.”

Following their apology, Marcia Grant says it is not enough and instead filed a lawsuit against the company. 

Donte Mills, Grant’s attorney, told TMZ on June 30, “An apology is not sufficient and it also misses the mark. Also, what they did is they said they changed their dress code policy. This is not about the dress code, you have the right to have a dress code. We’re saying apply it evenly.”

The details of the lawsuit are not public as of yet.

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