Life with CP

A family's story living with cerebral palsy in Chicago

Life with CP - A family's story living with cerebral palsy in Chicago

Popeyes in Lake Geneva – Facing Discrimination

My family took a day trip to Lake Geneva and decided to eat at a local tourist restaurant, Popeyes.  Upon entering the building, we encounter many stairs to get in. Which really is not a problem- I’m used to bumping him up the stairs in his stroller to get to many places.  We were approached by Morrie the manager and told that we would have to park our stroller on the side.  I explained that my son is unable to walk the stairs and I would take care of getting him up myself in his stroller.  He again, stressed that I was not allowed to bring the stroller in.  I see Jacob as Jacob, and rarely like to “label him”.  I told him that my son is disabled. This should have been the end of the discussion, right?  Wrong.

     This manager then proceeded to explain that we could not come in because of the fire laws. Fire laws? I asked him what he would do if someone came in with a wheelchair, would they accomodate him? My mouth dropped to the floor when he responded that they were very busy and they could possibly accomodate maybe “one”.  We have NEVER been treated this way- ever. 

       I have learned a few things from this experience.  Discrimination is out there and it IS alive. I also learned that immediately getting furious is not the remedy.  Although I did have a few choice words for Morrie, I left the building and asked for a manager.  She did come out and apologize for his behaviour, however, did not offer to help us inside.  We left and ate at Harry’s- a little family place around the corner. The angel waitress came and gave me a hug as I sobbed while eating. 

       It has been several weeks and the shock has faded, but I am so disappointed to learn that Popeyes has a separate handicapped entrance in their building.  It would have been too easy to remedy this situation. My version of this would have been…  “I’m so very sorry about that situation.   Please, there is a separate entrance around to the side. I will meet you there and take care of you right away.”  After pondering this, I have concluded that we were just “unwelcomed” in their restaurant. Very unfortunate- because when people encounter good service, they tell a friend or two. When they encounter horrible service, they tell several and in my case I am telling the whole world.! Popeyes restaurant in Lake Geneva discriminates!

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