Atlanta lawyer sues popular restaurant claiming discrimination - CBS46 News

Atlanta lawyer sues popular restaurant claiming discrimination

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A metro Atlanta lawyer is taking a well known and popular restaurant to court, claiming racial and ethnic discrimination.

Yussuf Abdel-Aleem says management at Houston's Restaurant on Peachtree Street in Buckhead ordered not only him, but other people of color to leave the restaurant twice.

Abdel-Aleem is a prominent metro Atlanta lawyer, suing the owners of the restaurant, the Hillstone Restaurant Group. He says he and three corporate executives were ousted from the establishment.

According to the suit, a manager ordered Abdel-Aleem to remove his baseball cap. As he started doing that, his cellphone rang and he answered the call. The suit said the manager immediately and loudly demanded that he hang up, saying that use of a cellphone in the dining room also violated the restaurant's policies.

Abdel-Aleem didn't want to be on camera, but he sent CBS46 a statement that said, in part:

"My clients and I filed suit because we believe people in the Atlanta community and elsewhere deserve to know what transpired during both incidents and whether this is part of a more widespread practice by Houston's.The fact that Houston's serves certain minorities is not a defense to discriminating against others."

Also according to the lawsuit, two months later, two of the men in the April dining party returned to Houston's with two other minority businessmen. The lawsuit says the restaurant management called Atlanta police and escorted them out.

Regarding that incident, Abdel-Aleem wrote:

"It's important to emphasize that I was not present on the second visit to the restaurant and there is no evidence that any of the patrons during that second visit had ever violated restaurant policy."

The Hillstone Restaurant Group says they can't comment on the pending lawsuit, but they say they don't discriminate.

Meantime, Abdel-Aleem says if he and the other plaintiffs win, they will be donating all money to a local charity.

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