Black Professionals Demand ‘Formal Apology’ and Refund After Being Booted from a Florida Restaurant So Another Party Could be Seated

Alex Harsha
Alex HarshaSep 21, 2023, 3:31 AM
Black Professionals Demand ‘Formal Apology’ and Refund After Being Booted from a Florida Restaurant So Another Party Could be Seated

A group of Black professionals reportedly was booted from an Orlando, Florida, restaurant for not being done with their time at the table when another party reportedly needed seating.

During an interview on “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” guests Leon Gantt and Stephanie Tolbert spoke about their Saturday night experience at DoveCote restaurant in the downtown area.

Leon Gantt and Stephanie Tolbert told Roland Martin that they were humiliated when they were asked to leave DoveCote restaurant over the weekend. (RolandMartinUnfiltered/YouTube screenshot)

Tolbert said she booked the group’s reservation through OpenTable to see live entertainment. She noted that they were not informed by the restaurant or staff that there was a time limit for the table. They were about an hour and a half into their experience when they reportedly were told to leave.

In the video obtained by the show, the group is speaking to officers and explaining that they did nothing wrong. The police advised them to document the incident and reach out to management.

“The police were very cordial. They were very nice,” Gantt told Roland. “They even said to us that we will walk out first so that it doesn’t seem like we are escorting you out. However, because this is a private organization, we had to leave.”

In another video posted on X, formerly Twitter, Gantt’s wife Heather posted the moment she walked out of the restaurant. She wrote that the event coordinator told them another party had to be seated.

“You don’t want to stay here. They just kicked us out because we stayed too long. They called the cops on us,” she could be heard saying to another couple.

The video shows Heather walking outside to a group of police officers.


“It was just very humiliating,” Tolbert said. “ When we walked out to wait for the valet for the car, there was another family that had been approached by the event coordinator and told that they needed to leave as well. This wasn’t something that was just isolated to us. There were some other Black families that were impacted.”

Gantt said they are reaching out to attorneys to assist them with the matter.

“The end result is, I would like a formal apology, number one,” he said. “ I would like our money returned.”

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    Alex Harsha
    Alex Harsha

    Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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