Family to file lawsuit against popular Fort Mill restaurant over racism claims

FORT MILL, S.C. — It started with an argument over seating at a popular Fort Mill Restaurant, but it escalated to an online battle. Now, the family at the center is moving forward with a lawsuit.

The family said they were treated unfairly, citing racism when staff at Captain Steve's wouldn't seat them, citing a policy which says their entire group had to be there first.

"What owner would have let this happen to 16 people all because two people were not there," customer Sylvia Blair said. "This never should have happened to us, but on June the 1st, it happened."

In a statement, Captain Steve's said the party requested a table for 16, then changed it to 18. When their table was ready, the owners said there were only 15 people present.

"Our party was complete," daughter Carla Blair said. "Two were not coming, so the 16 was a complete party."

The restaurant released surveillance video, which appears to show the group the moment their table was called.

You can hear the exchange escalating, but it is not clear what was said or by whom.

The family said owners asked them to leave and another staff member made a racist remark.

"I heard somebody say "We don't want y'all black money," Carla Blair said. "That's when I said 'Our money's green like yours.'"

In a statement, the owners said this never happened. They said they did nothing wrong that night, but only enforced a 20-year policy.

Another customer approached Channel 9's DaShawn Brown, who found the who situation hard to believe.

"I was not here, but I know that they stood by my family during my tragedy with my daughter's death," one customer said.

The incident happened June 1. Since then, the owners said they have been getting threats over it, including staff.

Officials said the two sides tried to sit down for a meeting about a week ago to see if they could come to some kind of resolution, but the meeting did not happen.