Chicago's Parlor Pizza isn't the kind of place where you'll find crisp white tablecloths and chandeliers. In fact, its patio consists of several wooden picnic tables. Even so, Antar Jackson says he was turned away, apparently because of his $245 pants. In what he claims was a case of racial discrimination, Jackson says he visited the restaurant with his wife on June 5 only to have an employee say his black herringbone wool trousers were "too street" for entry, reports the Chicago Tribune. A manager backed up the decision, citing the restaurant's dress code. The eatery's website notes athletic wear including sweatpants and lounge wear is prohibited after 5pm—Jackson's pants are described by the maker as "joggers"—but Jackson says other patrons were admitted wearing yoga pants, cargo shorts, and baseball caps, per NBC Chicago.
"They can do whatever they want as a business," says Jackson's lawyer. "They can have a dress code that says nothing purple, but you can't discriminate." Jackson says he decided to go public after he told the story at a local barbershop "and every single [black patron] said that this has happened to them at one point in their lives." He filed a discrimination complaint with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations on Monday and is asking for a public apology and for Parlor Pizza to get rid of the dress code "if they're not able to enforce it for everyone the same way." In a statement, the eatery says that its policy is uniformly enforced and that Jackson was wearing sweatpants. "We are very sorry to hear of the recent accusation and take these situations very seriously," it says. This was "in no way discrimination," a spokesperson tells the TV station. (This woman was sent home from work for not wearing heels.)