The restaurant reportedly apologized on social media after a transgender customer said the restaurant denied them service for wearing a skirt. As the metro area is home to a large LGBTQ community, the guest considered it shocking and humiliating. The restaurant worker reportedly said: “We are not denying him service. What we’re saying is he must dress his gender. If he dresses his gender, he is more than welcome to come inside.”
The 25-year-old person from Georgia, Pako Zolanski, reportedly said: “I identify as he, she, they. So all pronouns are OK. I went ahead and showed my ID. And he was saying, ‘Well, it’s not what it looks like on your ID. I’m like ‘What do you mean, I just took that picture. I know it looks like me. I may have gained a little weight, but it’s still me.”
According to reports, Pako just wanted to join his friend’s birthday dinner at The Monticello on Jan. 14. Pako showed up but did not make it in.
Pako said the photo was not the problem, it was his attire that night. 25-year-old Pako was reportedly wearing a red skirt, black shirt and a jacket on top. In a TikTok video, a man who appears to be Monticello staff explains their issue.
The restaurant worker reportedly said: “We are not denying him service. What we’re saying is he must dress his gender. If he dresses his gender, he is more than welcome to come inside.”
But, the restaurant has issued a public apology via its social media on Jan. 17, saying in part the incident does not represent its policies and procedures. In the statement, the restaurant said that its staff will undergo sensitivity training and that the employee involved received disciplinary action.
Pako also said:
“I’m Black. I’m gay. It’s just like no matter where I turn, I feel like there’s always going to be a target on my back. I should be able to walk in this world and not be scared that because I’m wearing a dress, people are going to treat me differently.”
I just really want to make sure they know this situation can’t happen. It can’t be OK. It can’t be continuous. It’s wrong. No one should have to deal with that.”
Pako’s friends reportedly started a GoFundMe Page to hire legal representation. This is a developing story and it will be updated as new information become available.