RIVER NORTH – A mother and her pregnant daughter say an upscale Chicago steakhouse racially discriminated against them with a dinner attire double standard.
Steak 48 apologized in a statement saying they plan to conduct staff training around the dress code policy. They claim they reached out to the mother and daughter to invite them back, but the pair says they’ve not heard from anyone affiliated with Steak 48.
Desiraye Campbell wore leggings to her 9-month OB GYN exam in Chicago. After the appointment, she says staffers at the restaurant refused to seat her citing what they called a strict dress code. But, Campbell says she saw a man walk in moments later in a baseball cap, shorts and gym shoes and that she saw him get seated with no problem.
“We were gonna be on our way and continue on with our day until we looked back and we see another guy walk in,” Campbell said.
“And I said, well he has on athletic gear. I said that’s not right, I said you guys are gonna seat him and he goes, ‘well he can wear that,'” said mother Paulette Gresham.
Gresham took her complaint to Facebook and in 24 hours, the post had thousands of comments and shares.
“The reason why it was so big and brought to social media was because it wasn’t right,” said Campbell.
Facebook comments call it blatant racism and sexism, and mom and daughter agree.
What made matters worse was what happened after Gresham asked to speak with the manager.
“He said, ‘I am the manager.’ I said ‘well is there anybody over you I can speak to.’ He said, ‘well do you want to speak to a security guard?’” said Gresham.
“Why would you ask us to want to talk to the security guard, like what do the security guard have to do with what we’re talking about?” said Campbell.
Steak 48 opened in River North last year.