A Wild Wing Cafe in Charleston, S.C. has been under fire for allegedly taking action against an African-American party of 25 who were asked to leave last month because a white customer felt “threatened.”
Michael Brown, a member of the party, said they visited the restaurant to celebrate his cousin’s final day in Charleston — but instead, the group was forced to wait two hours for a table before a manager approached them and said there was a “situation,” reports CBS affiliate WCSC-TV.
“She said there’s a situation where one of our customers feels threatened by your party, so she asked us not to seat you in our section, which totally alarmed all of us because we’re sitting there peaceably for two hours,” Brown told the WCSC-TV.
“Obviously, if we were causing any conflict, we would have been ejected out of the place hours before,” he added.
During that time, Brown said that a member of his group began to record his conversation with the shift manager. It was then that the manager reportedly became upset and told the group to leave.
“I said so you’re asking me to leave because you’re upset because he was recording you, after we’ve waited for two hours, and after you’ve already pretty much discriminated on us, and she answered yes,” he explained.
Brown later went to Facebook and wrote a post about the experience:
I will never go to Wild wings cafe in N. Chs again! We (Party of 25 family and friends) waited 2hrs, patiently and were refused service because another customer (White) felt threatened by us. This type of racial discrimination is un acceptable and we have to put a STOP TO IT. The manager looked me dead in the face and said she was refusing us service because she had a right to and simply she felt like it. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS ESTABLISHMENT… PLEASE SHARE THIS POST.. We need your help.
The company soon responded to the social media post and reached out to the family to offer their apologies and a free meal.
“We had a conversation. It was a really good conversation,” says Debra Stokes, the chief marketing officer for the restaurant chain. “They were having a going away party, and they just didn’t receive the experience that they have come to know and love.”
As of Monday afternoon, Brown’s Facebook post was shared over 3,000 times — and he says the company’s offerings are not adequate.
Brown said, “This is not a situation where you can just give us a free meal and everything is OK because it’s deeper than that.”
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works