ATLANTA, Georgia (WXIA) – A 4-year-old boy was asked to leave a restaurant at Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza because his shirt violated the dress code.
Lewis Roberts thought the outfit he picked out – which included a green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sleeveless shirt – looked great. But when he and his family tried to sit down for lunch at the Tavern at Phipps, he was told he didn’t meet the “Gentlemen’s Dress Code.”
After Lewis’ family explained that he was only 4, the hostess told them they still had to leave. When they asked to speak to a manager, the manager told them the dress code extended to “gentleman of all ages,” and they were again asked to leave.
When they asked to speak to a manager, the manager told them the dress code extended to “gentleman of all ages,” and they were again asked to leave. The message was clear: the restaurant, known for its low country boil, didn’t want a little Ninja Turtle in the dining room.
“If we would have thought for a minute that he was inappropriately dressed, we would have gone to a different restaurant to save the embarrassment,” said the boy’s aunt.
The restaurant wouldn’t speak with 11Alive’s Kaitlyn Ross, but after upper management found out about the incident, they were the ones feeling embarrassed. Amber Stewart, a company spokesperson, issued a statement saying:
Rule does not apply for children and ladies but for gentleman only. It was an embarrassing misunderstanding on our part. She’s a manager in training who had a gross misunderstanding of our policy. We apologize and are reaching out to the family.
After talking to the restaurant, Lewis’ family says apology accepted, and they plan to go back to the restaurant – ninja moves and all.