Restaurant Responds After Motivational Speaker Says He Was Kicked Out for Being Black: 'Race Played Absolutely No Role'

A restaurant in Texas responded after a motivational speaker claimed he and his wife were kicked out of the establishment for being black. Sambuca 360 told Newsweek, "Race played absolutely no role" in the situation.

"No racial statements were made by any 360 employees, and race played absolutely no role in this incident," the restaurant told Newsweek.

Johnny Wimbrey and his wife said they went for drinks at Sambuca 360 in Plano, Texas, on Saturday, ABC first reported. The Wimbreys said they were approached by the general manager after the two found an open table at the restaurant and were asked to give up their seats in exchange for free drinks.

Wimbrey declined the offer to move seats and said the manager wanted to give the table to a regular, who he claimed was white. Wimbrey said the manager became angry and asked the two to leave again, which Wimbrey was able to record on his cellphone. He also accused the couple of trespassing at the establishment.

"Why are you asking me to leave?" Wimbrey is heard asking in the video.

"Because I don't like you," the man identified as the manager of the restaurant can be heard saying.

Since the incident, Wimbrey's 10-minute video has gone viral on social media and has been viewed over 59,000 times. Wimbrey told Newsweek earlier this week that he believed the establishment kicked him and his wife out because they were black. The motivational speaker and author of From the Hood to Doing Good said he has been to the restaurant multiple times, but said he did not identify who he was to the hostess.

"I walked in as a normal person, and I should be able to come in as a normal person and listen to some music," Wimbrey previously told Newsweek.

The restaurant has since denied the incident was race-related. In a statement to Newsweek, the restaurant said the couple sat at a table for customers who had reserved the spot a week ago.

"The bar area of 360 is high energy and often filled with numerous guests standing to enjoy the live music, and, unfortunately, the waitress did not realize that Mr. Wimbrey had not been sat at the table by the hostess," the statement read. "Our guests, who had made prior reservations for the table a week in advance, arrived after Mr. Wimbrey had ordered drinks at the table and a manager approached Mr. Wimbrey to let him know that the guests were waiting to be seated at the table they had reserved."

The restaurant said the unidentified general manager did lose his temper but did not make any racial comments to the couple. The establishment said it regrets "that the manager did not exercise better judgment and communication skills when dealing with a customer."

The manager who asked Wimbrey and his wife to leave was "indefinitely suspended without pay," and an investigation by the owner is ongoing.

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After a black motivational speaker and his wife were kicked out of Sambuca 360 in Plano, Texas, the restaurant said there were no racial statements made to the couple. Google Maps
Restaurant Responds After Motivational Speaker Says He Was Kicked Out for Being Black: 'Race Played Absolutely No Role' | U.S.