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Baltimore City Council Calls On Atlas Restaurant Group To Drop Dress Code

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore City Council on Monday passed a resolution calling on Atlas Restaurant Group to eliminate its dress codes at its restaurants in the wake of another dress code-related incident at one of its restaurants.

A Black boy and his mother were denied service last month because of the child's clothing, while a similarly-dressed White child was allowed to eat at Ouzo Bay in Harbor East. Atlas later apologized, saying it has changed its policy to exclude children under 12. Two managers involved in the incident are no longer with the restaurant.

In the resolution, the council called on Atlas, "to set an example and be a leader in racial sensitivity and social justice by eliminating its dress code entirely as non-inclusive, divisive, and out of step with the values of the City."

"[The dress code] leaves an establishment and its workers too open for interpretation and implied, intended or not, for discrimination," Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said.


The resolution also said Atlas' removal of the manager who denied the family seating and its plans to implement racial sensitivity training "simply do not go far enough."

Baltimore City Councilman Leon Pinkett, however, voted against the resolution, saying Atlas is not the problem, but rather the symptom of the city's lack of investment in Black business.

"If we are really going to be a truly inclusive city, it goes a lot deeper than a Greek restaurant's dress code," he said.

The boy's mother, Marcia Grant, has since filed a lawsuit seeking $150,000 in damages. While she has declined multiple interview requests from WJZ, in an appearance on "Good Morning America" she said she could only imagine her son was turned away because of the color of his skin.

Atlas fired back, calling Grant's appearance part of an "orchestrated media tour." The restaurant group also called for public apologies from state Sen. Jill Carter and City Council President Brandon Scott, both Democrats, who criticized Atlas in the wake of the controversy.

In 2019, a dress code at another Atlas restaurant, Choptank in Fells Point, drew criticism and was later changed.

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