NewsRegionBaltimore City

Actions

Mother and son at center of restaurant dress code controversy speak out

Posted at 3:32 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 17:38:03-04

BALTIMORE — Marcia Grant is speaking out for the first time locally since her video showing her and her son being denied service at a popular restaurant went viral. They were denied service because of her son's attire despite the fact that a white child dressed similarly had been served.

"I can't believe in 2020 we're still having this conversation," said Grant during an interview with WMAR-2 News. "This is something that my grandfather and Dallas' greatgrandfather fought against."

The Atlas Restaurant Group, which owns Ouzo Bay, has since apologized for the incident saying it was disturbed by what occurred. As WMAR-2 News has reported two of the restaurants managers have been let go.

RELATED: Atlas Restaurant Group responds to video showing young boy being denied seating

"This should have never happened," the company said.

The video posted by Grant shows her son wearing athletic shorts, sneakers and an Air Jordan t-shirt. The unidentified manager tells Grant that her son's outfit violates the restaurant's dress code.

Grant turns her camera toward a white boy at the restaurant wearing a graphic t-shirt and similar-looking shorts who was being served, but the manager replies the child wasn't wearing shorts like Grant's son.

In the video you can hear the manager telling Marcia that he didn't get a good look at the white child.

"Our lives changed completely since uploading that video," said Grant.

Since Sunday's incident the family has been interviewed on Good Morning America and has made national headlines.

"We've got to continue to call out instances of injustice," said Grant. "call it out for starters. Call it out. Confront the person with it, not in a nasty way but just so they can understand what they're doing. We just need to continue to fight. We have to continue to push this forward or nothing will change."

The restaurant group immediately changed their policy so that children ages 12 and under aren't subject to the dress code. Atlas also said the dress code wasn't "intended to be discriminatory."

In a tweet Thursday the Atlas said it was discontinuing its dress code policies at The Bygone and Maximon.

The tweet read:

"This decision, effective immediately will give Atlas the opportunity to evaluate the operating impact of removing the dress code policy at two of its premier properties, while it continues to assess the policy at each of its venues."

Atlas was previously under fire in September for their dress code when restaurant Choptank in Fells Point banned "baggy clothing, sunglasses after dark and bandannas." The restaurant then modified the dress code after people called out the racial undertones.

As for Grant's son Dallas, he said he plans to organize a children's march.

"No one should be judged for what they're wearing," he said.

He also plans to design t-shirts centered around his experience.