4-Year-Old Told to Leave Georgia Restaurant Over His Ninja Turtles T-Shirt
byKaitlin StanfordJul 08, 2014
By all accounts, 4-year-old Lewis Roberts felt pretty cool in his Ninja Turtles t-shirt last week. And who wouldn't? With its sleeveless style, a tie-dyed green motif and — of course — Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo gracing its front, the "turtle power" vibe was in full effect.
But for the staff at Tavern at Phipps, a restaurant in Atlanta, Ga., the tee was not quite as appreciated. In fact, they said it came in strict violation of their "gentlemen's dress code." (Obviously they don't know any gentlemen who moonlight as ninjas.) So when the Roberts' family tried to get a table for lunch, the hostess promptly informed them their little ninja would not be allowed to sit. And when they asked to speak to a manager, and pointed out that said ninja was only four they were told that was not excuse — the dress code applies to "gentlemen of all ages," and they would need to leave.
Insulted, the Roberts family went elsewhere for lunch. But as you can imagine, they were not happy about it.
Speaking later with a reporter for Atlanta's 11Alive, Lewis' aunt said, "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."
Considering the Tavern is known for its "Low Country boil" and isn't exactly The Ivy, it's a bit mind-boggling that a kid's T-shirt would cause such an uproar. And it seems upper management agrees — once they caught wind of the incident through the 11Alive segment, the restaurant immediately apologized to the Roberts family and issued this statement:
Rule does not apply for children and ladies — 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.
The Lewis family has since accepted the restaurant's apology, and even have plans to return to the restaurant soon. (Their Low Country boil must be pretty good.)