African American woman alleges she was refused service at J. Alexander's in West Bloomfield

Video featuring restaurant going viral

By Larry Spruill - Reporter, Natasha Dado

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. - A video featuring the J. Alexander's restaurant in West Bloomfield is going viral. 

In the video, you can watch the aftermath of an incident inside the restaurant involving customer Lia Gant.

Gant, who is African American, recorded the video after claiming she was forced to leave the restaurant. She said it all started when a restaurant employee tried to force her to give up her seat for two white men Thursday. 

Gant said when she refused to get up, the bartender told her she would not be served. Gant said the bartender also took her drink and dumped it in the sink. 

“When I didn’t get up, for her to say, "I am not going to serve you' and I had done nothing wrong,” said Gant.

Gant said things didn’t stop there. “She’s yelling at me while I’m on the phone,” said Gant. 

Gant said shortly after, another customer threw his food at her. Gant said she was escorted out of the restaurant. 

On Monday, attorney Maurice Davis, with the Davis Law Group, announced another African American customer, J.L. Jefferson, claimed he was also treated unfairly that night, on his wedding anniversary, when he asked about their food.  

“At this point, an Arab gentleman from the bar emerged using the N-word and told us to go home. He said, 'N’s go home.' At this point, management hid this gentleman from police,” said Jefferson. 

J. Alexander issued the following statement to Local 4:   

“At J. Alexander’s Restaurants, we have a long-standing commitment to provide our guests the highest quality dining experience with outstanding food and professional service in a safe, respectful and welcoming environment. We are firmly committed to operating our restaurant in strict compliance with non-discriminatory policies. We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior from either guests or employees. 

"On June 20th at our restaurant in West Bloomfield, Michigan, we experienced an unfortunate incident between guests that disrupted the otherwise pleasant dining environment. No employee of J. Alexander’s used profanity or made inappropriate racial remarks or threw food but certain guests did. J. Alexander’s does not condone such behavior and sought to diffuse the situation. 

"The police were called by the restaurant to assist with the unruly behavior of the guests. Any guest who threw food was asked to leave and not return. The police are currently investigating the matter and J. Alexander’s is cooperating with the investigation. 

"We regret this incident occurred and extend our apology to our guests whose experience was interrupted by the inappropriate behavior of other guests. 

"We are grateful to have been a part of West Bloomfield for more than 21 years and we look forward to continuing to serve our guests with an extraordinary dining experience." 

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