Protesters bring service animals to Norfolk restaurant after claims of discrimination

Posted at 9:10 PM, Jan 21, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. - A local veteran is standing up for himself after he says a buffet restaurant discriminated against him because of his service dog.

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Uptown Buffet on Military Highway in Norfolk on Saturday. Many of the protesters had service dogs of their own with them.

The veteran, Stephen Friedman, says he was not kicked out of the restaurant, but he was asked to sit in a back room away from regular customers.

"This fight is not for me. This fight and this protest is for every disabled person,” Friedman told News 3 during the protest. “Veterans and non-veterans, as long as you are disabled and have a service dog, you should be treated just like any other person.”

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, "the service animal must be permitted to accompany the individual with a disability to all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. An individual with a service animal may not be segregated from other customers."

We reached out to Uptown Buffet but have not heard back.