Metro Weekly

Bronx restaurant employee fired after asking married gay couple to leave

La Isla Cuchifrito Restaurant in Mott Haven apologized to the couple

Nelson Ayala, Jamel Brown Jr., gay, Bronx, couple, restaurant, La Isla Cuchifrito
Nelson Ayala and Jamel Brown Jr., and the unnamed employee — Photos: News 12

A gay couple claims that they were asked to leave a restaurant in the Bronx after a public display of affection.

Nelson Ayala and Jamal Brown Jr. told News 12 that a female employee at La Isla Cuchifrito Restaurant in Mott Haven berated the married couple and asked them to leave after they affectionately embraced.

Other employees reportedly remained bystanders during the Jan. 15 incident, which ultimately ended after the couple canceled their order, left the restaurant, and reported the incident of bias to the authorities.

“Now that we have to go somewhere and be kicked out because of our sexual preference is just mind-blowing,” Brown Jr. said.

Ayala added: “Who I love shouldn’t define where I shop or eat at. I came here to get service, not to get judged.”

The employee reportedly apologized after the couple said they were going to call police, according to footage they captured of the incident, but Ayala refuted it, saying, “No, you’re not sorry.”

She was subsequently fired on Jan. 16, La Isla Cuchifrito confirmed.

The restaurant also extended an apology to the couple and said it “in no way” condoned the employee’s actions.

“They have been in this community for over 20 years and have never dealt with something like this,” Boyd Cole, of La Isla Cuchifrito, said. “[Management] want to offer the couple their sincerest apology and a free meal.”

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