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Restaurant faces potential discrimination case

WILMINGTON -- Thursday night Billy Brown went to the Dragon Garden restaurant on College Road. He says he came in alone and was asked to pay for his meal before going to the buffet. But while he was eating, he saw several white people come in who did not pay before eating. We spoke over the phone with Dragon Garden's manager Ling Ung. He told us his policy is to normally require customers to pay after they've eaten. We asked him why he asked brown to pay before. He said it's because he's recently had several customers, both black and white, who have not been able to pay for their meals once finished. He said he asks only certain customers to pay in advance. He said he determines their ability to pay based on their appearance and his gut feeling about them.

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Inapropriate Attire

This has nothing to do with black or white. I eat in there quite often, the food is great. While in there I have observed that the customers are a mix race wise(black, white & hispanic). The managment and staff are always frendly to everyone of all races, so it isn't a race matter at all. When in a restraunt trying to eat a good relaxing meal, I really don't want to be seated near someone in inapropriate attire for that setting. Maybe he just needs to put a sign at the door that proper attire should be worn for entry. He definately has he right to refuse entry to anyone who is inappropriately dressed. Quite a few restaurants do that.

this place should be closed.

this place should be closed. this is 2008

Law Suit

The really sad part of this whole thing is that a lawyer will only take a case like this for big money (probably no deep pockets here) or to make a name. Will anyone be satisfied with an apology and a change of policy. And you're right, in a big city this line of defense would not be considered unreasonable. But I do believe Mr. Ung should have just watched the customer if he had fears of "dine & dash."

Re: Wow-Can you believe it!

I cannot believe in this day and age people are still be subjected to discrimination based on appearance. When is enough, enough! I feel as responsible consumers we have an obligation to stand up against discrimination. I understand that the restaurant has to protect itself but there are other ways to do so with discriminating against people!!


This has discrimination written all over it. You can't require one person to pay in advance unless you require EVERYBODY to pay in advance. And sometimes the richest people show an outward appearance of not being rich, so how can you base who has to pay in advance on what people's appearance is? Why should we be discriminated against because we don't LOOK like we have money. That is absolutely ridiculous and I hope this man follows through with this and lets the owner of that restaraunt see that you can't racial profile and/or stereotype people and get away with it. I know I'll never eat there again.

thats not right to treat no

thats not right to treat no one that way because of the color of there skin thats why us blacks act the way we do cause whites have always got to be treated with kindness i fell every body should be treated the same way no matter what

You cant cherry pick who to

You cant cherry pick who to charge at the beginning of the meal or after. A bad policy by a very good restaurant. Their food is the best chinese in town. Hopefully the owner will amend his policy and this MINOR incident will blow over. The guy was wronged but he shouldn't end up owning the restaurant because of this.

How about "we reserve the

How about "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" and or decide who pays, who gets a free meal, or has to pay in advance. If this man came into my business looking like he does in this photo then I would discriminate aswell, but not because of his skin color.


It doesnt matter how a person looks he should be able to go and eat anywhere he wants without being told to. I`m 16 and even i know what you said is very wrong even though your are not being racist because he`s black dont you think in a way you are because of the comment you made about the way he looks?

Easy solution... Make

Easy solution... Make everyone pay up front.


If Mr. Brown does not sue them then some liberal lawyer or better yet the NAACP will do it on his behalf. When will we stop with the lies that everything is based on race? Mr. Ung has the right to choose when people pay for there food .If you don't like it don't eat there!!!


sure looks like someone you can trust to me!

yea your right. this is

yea your right. this is very wrong, however if it would have been a white person no one would be having a fit about that. at least the mananger told the truth and didn't lie about. in all stores the mananger has the right to request that the persons pays before eating, just like the mananger has the right to refuse service to anyone they fill fit to do so. It is an locally owned place so he can refuse to serve whomever he wants.

Dragon Garden

This is one of my favorite restaurants. I am offended at this form of discrimination. If they are having a problem with customers not being able to pay; they should just require everyone to pay up front and be done with it. This should not be seen as an inconvenince to customers because if you have the money to pay at the end of your meal you have the money to pay prior to.

Shut him down. Good

Shut him down. Good riddance.

This is not necessarily

This is not necessarily discrimination, I was in a restaurant where a patron ate the food and walked out. When confronted by the female manager, he said "What are you going to do about it" and pushed her aside. I think the restaurant manager has the right to ask and the patron has the right to refuse and leave.


Yes, this is a case of discrimination. But I believe Mr Ung was only trying to protect his business. I do not believe he felt any animosity toward this customer. I'm sure he wants all the customers he can handle. Someone also previously commented that this is a tough area to do business, so Mr Ung was probably gun shy. (Excuse the pun.) His mistake was not to apply the policy to all, and quite frankly, he spoke without understanding how things are put in modern American society. Come on, beat me up for saying this. But I believe a savvy owner, could have side stepped this one.

Wow. This is definitely

Wow. This is definitely discrimination. It's the "pay before you pump" mentality. I'd be furious.


I guess the owner is tired of bums or people that look like bums eating and then not having money to pay for their meal.


You never judge a book by it's cover. looks like you have a case here go for it make this restaurant yours.

How in the Hell could you judge

I want to know who they think they are to judge someone? I want to know why they have the right.I have always went in there and ate and then payed.I could have been rich and wore dirty clothes. I would dare someone to judge me. that is bs

Any business should have the

Any business should have the ability to screen potential patrons who may appear, from previous experience, to be either not able or willing to pay for a service. It is not discrimination, just normal good business sense not to be "taken for a ride". All people do this, with all people they encounter, it's a naturally human thing that we all do. Yes, perhaps some people call it "discrimination" but what it really should be called is "good judgment".


might be discimination but you can generally tell someones demeaner by their appearance and 9 times out of 10 your gut feeling is right. quit dressing like a thug and get rid of the dreads and you probably could eat before you pay. plus i'd bet this guy doesn't have a criminal record.

You dont get it.....

WOW. This is definitely.......a business. What do you mean "the pay before you pump" mentality. There is a reason why that rule is in effect. People will steal your gas, food, drink whatever if you don't get it up front. Do you pay first at McDonalds or do you tell them you will get them after you eat that Quarter Pounder?. Have you ever spent any time in a large city? This is actually not that uncommon of a practice. At least this owner admits it, and he even openly states that he not only profiles blacks but whites as well. What a breath of fresh air. But my main point is that this would not even be in the news if this guy was white. Shame on you for trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill and shame on WWAY for using race as a means to "shock" us into thinking this is still the 1950's.

Re: You Don't Get It

Guest of what the #%^, you couldn't be more incorrect. Comparing this situation to McDonalds makes absolutely no sense. McDonalds requires EVERYONE to pay before they eat. Not just certain people. Just because the owner admits to profiling customers does not make it ok. You say that this would never have made the news if the guy was white. The fact is, if this guy was white, it would have never happened.

Well, I agree with what you

Well, I agree with what you have said. I think people need to really consider this problem. It's not black vs. white (literally), it's about the presentation one makes when they enter a restaurant or establishment. Granted, the manager needs to rethink things, simply making everyone pay would help those who may not be able to afford non-thug clothes from feelings of embarassment and discrimination. I mean, one of my friends works at a gas station, and she witnessed the owner of a BMW leaving without paying for gas...point is, sometimes a book is not it's cover.

I've seen all sorts of

I've seen all sorts of discrimination regardless of attire, money or the whose who! Our family has had to pay up front before and yes it's crappy but it is what it is! My wife was always treated like this before we were married and she was a single mother. She always recieved crappy service and treatment and she sees a big difference while we dine together especially at the local eateries. Money is money; might as well pay ahead and let it be. We pay for gas ahead of time why not a meal from some crappy local who is trying to make a living.