But once Studdard arrived at the restaurant, he says a hostess explained there was an issue with his attire.
“One of the hostesses came to me and said some of the line servers thought my t-shirt was inappropriate or offensive,” Studdard explained.
The bright pink t-shirt bears a simple drawing of female breasts and states “Breast Matters” in large print. Studdard says he got it when he participated in a 5-mile walk in Atlanta to support a friend battling the disease and raise awareness for breast cancer. A website maintained by James B-More Wharton, an author in Baltimore, offers the shirt for sale for $10.99.
“One of my best friends died a few months ago from breast cancer, one of my sisters is a breast cancer survivor, so it means a lot,” he said.
Though the owner of Niki’s West declined to talk to us for this story, there are signs prominently displayed at the entrance that say “family establishment” and “modest attire required.”
But Studdard and his family defend his shirt. They believe it does not violate the modesty requirement. “In my opinion, for someone who finds this shirt inappropriate is truly uninformed,” Studdard said.