Mistreatment at restaurant leaves bad taste in man’s mouth

WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man says he was mistreated at a local restaurant.

Billy Brown had dinner at Dragon Garden, but he says the way he was treated left a bad taste in his mouth. Brown has eaten at Dragon Garden on College Road before. This time was different. He came in alone and was asked to pay for his meal before going to the buffet.
He said normally he pays after the meal.

“I asked him what was the reason I had to pay in advance. Is it because I’m black?” Brown said, “He said no, that’s his policy. But I sat there and ate my meal and some white people came in. He didn’t go to them and tell them they had to pay in advance.”

NewsChannel 3 spoke over the phone with Dragon Garden manager Ling Ung. He told us his policy is to require customers to normally pay after they’ve eaten. When asked why Brown was requested to pay before his meal, Ung 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. Ung said he asks only certain customers to pay in advance. Ung also said he determines their ability to pay based on their appearance and his gut feeling about them. That doesn’t fly with Brown.

“You’re running an establishment. You treat everyone equal,” Brown said. “There’s no one different when you’re running an establishment and dealing with the public. You treat everyone the same.”

Brown’s recourse includes taking his complaint to a number of government agencies, or filing a lawsuit. For now, though, he says he’s just not going to eat at Dragon Garden again.

Categories: New Hanover

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