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Woman Kicked Out Of Family Restaurant Over ‘Inappropriate’ Outfit, Says Her Race Played A Role.

Aireal Bonner claimed that she was “disrespectfully abused” by a Birmingham eatery and was sent out because of her outfit. She added that she did not believe her dress was the true reason she was ejected.

She was asked to leave Southern Kitchen & Bar in Uptown after refusing to cover her crocheted top, which the restaurant said was a “bikini top” that violated the restaurant’s dress code.

When Bonner inquired where the dress code sign was in a video she shared on Facebook, the manager informed her that the dress code does not have to be displayed since the restaurant is a private company.

Another manager handed her a t-shirt, but she declined to wear it. She was then ordered to leave, with the management threatening to contact the police if she did not.

Bonner subsequently stated that she did not believe her outfit was the reason she was ejected.

I want to provide a bit of clarity on a situation. Yesterday, I made the decision to attempt to patronize a new (to me) restaurant in Uptown, called The Southern Kitchen & Bar. I walked through the door, spoke to the host, sat at the bar, had time to ask questions about the menu and order food and a drink. Not soon after my food order was placed, I was approached by the “manager”, Miranda (seen in the video) about my attire. I was initially told that the owner of the restaurant, Stephen, had called her from his home (he wasn’t even in the restaurant initially) because he had seen me on camera in the restaurant and asked her to come and harass me about the way I was dressed. She approached me initially asking if I had another shirt that I could put on, I told her no I did not as I was already wearing a shirt. She told me that she was not prepared for my answer and walked away to call the owner again. The video is her second time approaching me after my refusal to comply with what I felt was a ludicrous and unnecessary request. As you can see in the video, I was threatened with police action simply because I wanted to sit and eat in an outfit that I felt comfortable and happy in. There was no customer complaint that prompted the situation. This was purely the way that the “owner” chose to run his business. When I told her I had no problem with her calling the police if my attire was an issue, she chose instead to call the owner to come in to belittle and accost me. The second this man came in, he immediately began to handle the situation aggressively. Telling me that if I wanted to continue to dine there (after being harassed and embarrassed by a nonexistent dress code) that I would have to put a shirt that they so “generously” provided for free (as Miranda stated in the video) or get my food to go and leave, loudly in front of a restaurant full of people. I chose not to dine there, and made the decision to leave after I dumped the food and drink I was not able to eat on the counter and walked out.

Posted by Aireal Bonner on Saturday, 7 August 2021

She told them that her clothes were an excuse not to have her dine there. The most noticeable flaw in her looks is that she seem to be Afrocentric. Her hair is of the Afro kind. She dresses in an Afrocentric style. So she felt that her attire was used as an excuse since they couldn’t explicitly say things like “We don’t like the color of your skin, we don’t like the way your hair looks.”

But the restaurant apologized since the effort to follow company rules was ill-timed” because personnel confronted her after she sat down rather than when she initially entered the place.

They apologize for disrupting Ms. Bonner’s supper and appreciate that it would make anybody feel uncomfortable, the statement stated, adding that it was creating more stringent processes in the enforcement of its policy, including dealing with any problems at the door.

They have done and will continue to do the work to ensure their restaurant is a welcoming environment for everybody, the eatery said.

Bonner rejected the apology and instead encouraged customers to leave critical reviews, which resulted in the establishment’s Yelp page being removed.

As she previously said, the purported ‘apology’ statement for the timing of when she was asked about a nonexistent clothing code is… “LAUGHABLE,” wrote Bonner.

For those more concerned with my attire than my mistreatment, this is a video I recorded after leaving Southern Kitchen & Bar. You can see my top clearly, and see that everything is covered.

Posted by Aireal Bonner on Saturday, 7 August 2021

Alabama Rally Against Injustice has planned a sit-in protest outside the restaurant on Saturday, stating that the eatery’s social media website had photos of other women wearing identical apparel.

Private enterprises have the freedom to operate as they see fit; however, discrimination will not be accepted, the organization said.

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