A famed Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles has fired a manager who was accused of scolding an LGBTQ+ actor for kissing his date, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Drew Droege, a local performer and comedian, dined at the popular El Compadre in Echo Park on Monday evening, detailing a homophobic encounter that he described as “sad, disgusting, and hateful” during what was supposed to be a pleasant meal.
After the pair finished up their second round of drinks, they put their arms around each other and were soon addressed for their public display of affection by a uniformed man.
Droege revealed the manager said something along the lines of “you guys can’t do that here,” before firmly stating that “this is a family restaurant.”
Nobody around them appeared to be bothered, which led Droege to ask if anyone had complained. “[The manager] threw his hands in front of us and said, ‘I don’t care if you’re the President of the United States, we don’t allow your behavior here.”
Droege and his date “promptly got up” and made their exit.
Following the exchange and a viral tweet shared about the incident, El Compadre said they were looking into what happened in a statement that was later taken down from their page.
The well-known restaurant’s official IG followed up with another message on Wednesday, December 14, revealing they were taking action by firing the staffer.
“We want to sincerely apologize for the actions of our manager on the night of December 12,” the statement began. “This is not representative of our core values at El Compadre.”
“We have been in business for almost 50 years, and we accept, appreciate and value every customer that walks through our doors, and this behavior will never be tolerated in our establishment,” the statement continued.
“We do believe El Compadre to be a family restaurant, and coming into our restaurant is like coming into our home. In our home, we believe in love and equality and the fact that one of our employees made someone feel unsafe is not acceptable to us.”
“We are dedicated to showing our commitment to all of our customers,” they vowed.
Amid the controversy, others have defended the establishment and come forward with more positive experiences as members of the LGBTQ community.