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Dining #WhileBlack

Couple Asked To Give Up Table At Texas Restaurant

On its website, Sambuca 360 claims to be the “ultimate night out in the far North Dallas area!” It has live music and a menu that features everything from goat-cheese stuffed artichokes to a chicken-fried rib-eye. What it doesn’t say on its menu is that if you’re black, you may be asked to give up your seat for a white patron.

That’s what happened to Johnny Wimbrey and his wife on Saturday night in Plano, Texas. According to Wimbrey, motivational speaker and author of From The Hood to Doing Goodhe and his wife were seated and going over the menu about to order when the manager asked them if they would give up their table.

“I said, ‘No I think we want to sit here,” Wimbrey said. “We have a great view. It’s only a table for two.’ We declined the offer respectfully.”

Wimbrey said the manager, who wanted to give the table to a white man who is a regular, got angry and told the Wimbreys to leave.

The following is a transcript of what was recorded on Wimbrey’s phone:

Manager: “You can pay the tab. You are leaving.”

Wimbrey: “Why am I leaving? Because I am asking you to leave. Why?”

Manager: “Because I don’t like you.”

The manager then accused the couple of trespassing and threatened to call the police.

“The Plano police show up,” said Wimbrey. “They jump out of the car and I thought what would happen if I didn’t leave?”

Wimbrey believes race was a factor in this incident.

“I do believe it’s because of who I am and how I look that they asked me to move tables,” said Wimbrey.

Sambuca issued the following statement to local news outlet, WFAA: “We apologize for the miscommunication with our guest on Saturday night, which resulted from a mix-up at our host stand. Sambuca has no tolerance for discrimination and always wants to make every guest feel welcome and respected.”

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