Metro Weekly

Restaurant Manager Fired After Criticizing Gay Actor for Kissing Date

Restaurant issued an apology, noting the manager has been fired and supporting "love and equality."

El Compadre restaurant in Los Angeles – Photo: Drew Droege, via Instagram.

The manager of a popular Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles has been fired after actor Drew Droege complained about being reprimanded for kissing his date during a recent dining experience.

Droege took to Instagram to complain about his experience dining at El Compadre, in Los Angeles’s Echo Park neighborhood, on Monday, Dec. 12.

According to Droege, he and his date were enjoying after-dinner drinks with their arms around each other before planning to catch a show downtown. The pair kissed a couple of times, but were soon approached by a manager, who warned them they couldn’t kiss, because the establishment is a “family restaurant.”

“I asked if anyone had complained to him, as we looked around and only saw happy straight couples eating, laughing, doing the same thing we were doing,” Droege wrote. “He 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.'”

While Droege and his date left the restaurant, the actor said they were “genuinely shocked” at the manager’s reaction, and vowed never to return to the restaurant.

“In 2022. In Echo Park, CA. At 6:30 p.m. on a Monday. The chilling and pointed tone of ‘we’re a family restaurant. We don’t allow your behavior here,'” Droege wrote. “Ever wonder why gay people often seem nervous? Why do we walk faster? Why do we work so hard to please others and be good little citizens in this world?”

He added that he and his date later made out in the restaurant’s parking lot.

Droege’s followers, including many actors and celebrities, largely responded with messages of support or expressing disappointment with the restaurant, reports the Sacramento Bee.

“Never ever going there again…” wrote one follower. “That place will be out of business very soon. Just so disheartening that someone/someplace like that is part of our beautiful blue bubble.”

“Honestly the homophobia is almost less chilling than the fact that they were mean to THE NICEST MAN I KNOW (but I’m never going back either,” wrote writer and comedian Eliot Glazer. 

“Oh Drew. My heart is with you, what terrible inexcusably backwards behavior from that person,” Criminal Minds actress Kirsten Vangsness replied to Droege’s post. “I’m very happy to hear that you made out in the parking lot and I’ve been there a bunch of times and will never set foot in it again.”

The restaurant later responded with a statement on Instagram, which Droege shared on his own Instagram account.

“We want to sincerely apologize for the actions of our manager on the night of December 12th. This is not representative of our core values at El Compadre, and we wanted to let our customers know that the manager has been terminated,” the restaurant wrote in its post, condemning the manager’s behavior and touting its belief in diversity. 

“We do believe El Compadre to be a family restaurant, and coming into our restaurant is like coming into our home,” the post continues. “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.”

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