The Atlas Restaurant Group, owner of Ouzo Bay in Baltimore, issued a statement on Monday apologizing to Marcia Grant, a Black mother, after a video shows a manager denying her service because her child, Dallas, was allegedly in violation of dress code policy. A similarly-dressed white kid nearby didn't face the same scrutiny, CBS Baltimore reports.
"We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son & everyone impacted by this painful incident," the company tweeted. Its accompanying statement insisted, "This difficult situation does not represent who or what Atlas Restaurant Group stands for. While dress codes across Atlas properties are the result of ongoing input from customers, in no way are they intended to be discriminatory."
"They're telling me that my son can't eat here because there's no athletic wear? He's nine," Grant said of Dallas, who was wearing an Air Jordan T-shirt, gym shorts, and sneakers. "And there's kids out there with tennis shoes on."
The manager seen in the video has been placed on "indefinite leave." Atlas will no longer force anyone under the age of 12 to follow the dress code requirement at their restaurants.
Atlas was also criticized in September for implementing a dress code at another restaurant, Choptank, which was perceived as specifically targeting people of color.