Buckhead restaurant ‘reevaluating’ dress code after incident involving NBA star Dominique Wilkins

ATLANTA — The upscale Buckhead restaurant at the center of controversy over kicking out Atlanta Hawks legend and broadcaster Dominique Wilkins, says it is now changing its dress code and will make employees take diversity training.

Over the weekend, Wilkins took to Twitter to say that he’d been turned away from grabbing a meal at Le Bilboquet restaurant in the “Shops of Buckhead” plaza. Wilkins posted a photo on Twitter and said the restaurant denied him service.

Wilkins believes he was turned away due to the color of his skin. On Sunday, the restaurant issued a statement apologizing to Wilkins.

On Monday, at Le Bilboquet issued a new statement, saying:

“We sincerely apologize to Dominique Wilkins for the events that occurred on May 22. No patron of our restaurants should be made to feel unwelcome or less than, and for that we are deeply sorry. It was never our intention to make Mr. Wilkins – or anyone else for that matter – feel that way at our restaurant.”

The statement goes on to say the restaurant will “provide diversity, equity and inclusion training to all current employees and require it as part of our employee onboarding process moving forward.”

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Le Bilboquet also said it will be reevaluating its dress code and will be “eliminating any ambiguities that may lead to misunderstandings.”

Wilkins said that he wouldn’t have had an issue if they had said there were no tables available at the restaurant. He added that restaurant staffers looked him “up and down” and told him the clothes he was wearing were not appropriate.

Wilkins said he was wearing “designer casual pants and a shirt.”

In the latest statement, Le Bilboquet said it “will not tolerate implicit or explicit bias. We have done and will continue to do the work to ensure our restaurant is a place where all feel welcome.”

Here is the restaurant’s full statement it issued on Monday:

“We sincerely apologize to Dominique Wilkins for the events that occurred on May 22. No patron of our restaurants should be made to feel unwelcome or less than, and for that we are deeply sorry. It was never our intention to make Mr. Wilkins – or anyone else for that matter – feel that way at our restaurant.

“As an upscale, white table cloth, fine dining restaurant, we have a dress code in place to provide an experience that meets both our brand standards and our clientele’s expectations. While we will continue to have a dress code, we realize our current policy is subject to interpretation and can be unintentionally demeaning and divisive.

“Accordingly, we are immediately making changes.

“First, we will provide diversity, equity and inclusion training to all current employees and require it as part of our employee onboarding process moving forward.

“Second, we are reevaluating our dress code and eliminating any ambiguities that may lead to misunderstandings.

“Third, we are establishing more rigid protocols to ensure all policies, including our dress code, are consistently and equitably enforced by staff. This will include providing staff with communication training to make certain all messages to guests are clearly conveyed and appropriately delivered.

“We will not tolerate implicit or explicit bias. We have done and will continue do the work to ensure our restaurant is a place where all feel welcome.

“Again, we apologize to Mr. Wilkins and hope these changes will be met with an eye toward progress.”