Atlas Restaurant Group has apologized after a black patron and her son were denied service at Ouzo Bay, an upscale bistro in Baltimore. A video of the encounter between the mother and the restaurant manager went viral over the weekend, leading to a prompt apology.
A Shocking Standoff
Marcia Grant and her son Dallas, a black family of two, tried to eat at Ouzo Bay on Monday night. But the restaurant has a dress code that bans athletic apparel from the dining room. Accordingly, when Ms. Grant requested a table, a restaurant employee insisted that Dallas could not enter on account of his outfit.
While a dress code is questionable on its own, the house clearly enforced the rule inconsistently. Within Ms. Grant’s eyeshot, a white child was eating with his family, wearing a nearly-identical outfit as Dallas. But even after Ms. Grant pointed this out, the employee would not budge.
Within days, the story went viral on Reddit and Instagram.
Now, Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, has apologized to the family. They released the following statement to Twitter:
“Today, we learned of an incredibly disturbing incident that occurred at one of our restaurants in Baltimore, Ouzo Bay. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son & everyone impacted by this painful incident. This situation does not represent who or what Atlas stands for.”
On Monday, the company said the video “sickened” them. “While dress codes across Atlas properties are the result of ongoing input from customers,” the company said, “in no way are they intended to be discriminatory. That said, this past weekend’s incident at Ouzo Bay clearly serves as a moment we will learn from and create change.”
The company has placed the hostile manager from the video on “indefinite leave.”