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Restaurant turns away 9-year-old Black boy over dress code, while white boy dines in similar attire

The manager at the Maryland restaurant refused the Black boy and his mother a seat and asked them to leave.

Restaurant turns away 9-year-old Black boy over dress code, while white boy dines in similar attire
Image Source: Facebook/marcia.grant.75

Trigger warning: Race-motivated violence

A Maryland restaurant is facing flak after refusing to let a nine-year-old boy dine, claiming he violated the dress code. The boy's mother, Marcia Grant, pointed out that there was a similar aged white boy wearing a similar dress and eating at their restaurant. The boy's mother accused the restaurant of being racist and using the dress code as a cover to impose restrictions on them. Marcia Grant had visited Ouzo Bay in Baltimore, Maryland during the weekend with her son, Dallas, who was wearing a t-shirt, athletic shorts, and shoes. The manager was quick to inform her that he was in violation of the dress code of the restaurant. 


She then pointed to a white of a similar age to Dallas finishing his meal. The white boy could be seen wearing shorts and an athletic-type t-shirt. She questions the manager and he stutters, trying to argue that what the White boy is wearing is technically not athletic wear. Marcia Grant took filmed her interaction with the manager at Ouzo Bay and shared it on Facebook. “I just want to understand why it’s different for my son,” asks Grant. The manager refuses to budge but tries to pacify her. “I understand how you feel—“ the manager starts only to be interrupted by Grant. “I don’t want you to sympathize with me, I just want you to tell me why it’s different for my son,” Marcia Grant says patiently.  repeated, to which the manager merely shrugs, refusing to answer her.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 14: A woman raises her fist at the front of a march down Washington Avenue to protest racism and the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 14, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protesters estimated at more than 1,000 blocked streets and light rail during the action. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Even as Marcia Grant confronts the management, the white boy and his family can be seen finishing their meal and leaving. Marcia Grant wrote: Ouzo Bay would not let Dallas eat at there restaurant sighting that athletic wear was not allowed! I pointed out to them that there was a white child that also had on athletic wear just getting up from dining there, they still would not let my son eat there! I have faced racism time and time again, but it’s hard AF when you have to see your child (9-years-old) upset because he knows he’s being treated differently than a white child!!! The manager refused to budge and asked them to leave.


A photo of the house rules at Ouzo Bay state that the dress code mandates “no activewear, no gym clothing, no sweatpants." While many restaurants enforce these rules, they rarely hold them up for young children and especially for those coming in during the daytime. The video went viral and garnered over 5, 400 shares, and 2,700 shares and reactions combined. Facebook users pointed out that it was a clear case of racism and not so much about enforcing house rules.



Jane Leider commented: Oh my stars! I can't believe they could be so blatantly racist and make the ridiculous excuses they did and look at themselves in the mirror ever again in life! I am sorry that both you and your son were subjected to this unconscionable behavior! Miles White lauded her standing her ground and capturing the footage of the incident: Bravo to this woman for standing her ground and refusing to accept this kind of treatment, and for making the video. Keep those cell phone cams rolling.

The 9-year-old boy was dressed in athletic wear/Facebook screenshot

Pat Letke wrote: So, so sad. I am sorry that this happened to you and your son. There is no place for this racism! I applaud you for your handling of the situation!!! The restaurant’s parent company addressed the video in a statement released on Twitter: “This never should have happened,” they wrote of the encounter. “The manager seen in the video has been placed on indefinite leave. We are sickened by this incident. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son, and everyone impacted by this painful incident.”



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