Black couple refused entry to Umi Sushi in Buckhead over their sneakers

ATLANTA — There are calls for a boycott from the community, including rapper TI, of a popular Buckhead sushi restaurant after a Black couple says they were discriminated against and refused service because of their sneakers.

The now viral video has 160,000 views on Kaylan Colbert’s Instagram account. She posted earlier this week that she and her husband went to Umi Sushi for a birthday dinner.

According to Colbert, her husband was refused service because he was wearing Nike Air Force 1 shoes, which is apparently against the restaurant’s dress code. But in the video she recorded herself, Colbert showed a white woman sitting at the restaurant’s bar wearing silver tennis shoes.

When the couple confronted the restaurant’s workers about the apparent double standard, they were asked to leave the restaurant, video showed.

“How crazy is that? She has on Adidas sneakers. You telling me those are good?” Colbert’s husband said in the video.


According to Umi’s website, the restaurant has a “strictly enforced” dress code. For everyone, there are no ball caps, sneakers, athletic wear and sports jerseys allowed. For men, no shorts, flip-flops and tank tops.

Channel 2′s Lori Wilson spoke with the restaurant owner, Farshid Arshid, who regretted the way the incident was handled.

“I should have probably been more calm and spoke to the gentleman and if he would have asked me well there’s a lady with shoes I should have gone in, I should have looked, and I would have said you are a hundred percent right please come in and dine with us,” Arshid explained.

Colbert told Channel 2′s Lori Wilson she’s overwhelmed by how much attention the video has gotten and Arshid says he just wants to make this right.

“We love to entertain. You know people come in and eat our food and people come in and say Arshid it’s the best meal I’ve had. Nothing makes me happier and that’s why I reached out to them because it hurt my soul that these guys came for dinner and had a negative experience that evening,” Arshid said.

This was not a racial incident, according to Arshid, but rather, his staff missed the woman because it is self-seating.

The restaurant has since disabled its Instagram and Facebook pages.