A restaurant in Atlanta called Le Bilboquet is receiving a lot of negative press after basketball legend Dominique Wilkins tweeted that he was turned away for his outfit. Wilkins was apparently told that his outfit was against the dress code, but many former guests say they have seen the dress code being enforced as a way to keep Black people from eating at the restaurant.
“In my many years in the world, I’ve eaten at some of the greatest restaurants in the world,” wrote Wilkins, “but never have I felt prejudice or been turned away because of the color of my skin, until today in #atlanta In @LeBilboquetAtl #turnedawaybecauseimblack.”
“We went there to have lunch, and I was dressed very sporty, casual, I had a nice pair of casual pants on with a stripe, nice red shirts, and sneakers on,” Wilkins told CBS 46. “As I’m walking in, I notice right away, that they’re sizing me up, they’re looking me up before I even said a word.”
When he asked for an outside table he was told there were no reservations available, though he saw many empty tables. The hostess then told him “plus, you have sweatpants on, and we’re trying to keep a level of elegance.”
But Wilkins claims he saw other patrons come in wearing sneakers and shorts and otherwise dressed informally, but they were not turned away. BroBible found older reviews of the restaurant in which several claim discriminatory dress code enforcement as well:
Le Bilboquet has been trying to do some damage control, but they’re not doing an amazing job. The General Manager Mark Hoefer said they “do not have an issue with shorts or jeans, but they do not allow athleticwear,” which sure doesn’t make any sense. Also, this woman is clearly wearing a sports bra:
On Sunday, the restaurant posted an apology to Wilkins:
But will that actually change their dress code policies or the racist ways they enforce it? Maybe getting shut down would do it.