El Compadre fires supervisor who scolded homosexual actor for kiss

Drew Droege, an L.A.-based actor and comic, dined on the Mexican restaurant El Compadre in Echo Park on Monday night.

“Last night, I went on a really nice date. With a really sad, disgusting, hateful moment in the middle,” he wrote to his 24,000 followers on Instagram the subsequent morning.

By the top of his date, he alleges, a restaurant worker scolded them each for a public show of affection — not as a result of it wasn’t allowed however as a result of they’re homosexual.

“Last night at @ELCOMPADRE_DTLA Echo Park I was reprimanded by a mgr [manager] for kissing another man,” Droege added in a Twitter post Tuesday. “At 6:30pm in the middle of our second drink. Told ‘this is a family restaurant’& ‘we don’t allow that behavior here’. I will never be back. I encourage you all to find another place too.”

His posts have garnered tons of of feedback and hundreds of “likes” throughout social platforms, with some calling for a boycott of El Compadre and others flooding the restaurant’s Yelp pages with one-star critiques this week.

After releasing an preliminary assertion Tuesday that it will definitely deleted, El Compadre issued a second assertion late Wednesday afternoon saying it had fired the worker in query.

“We want to sincerely apologize for the actions of our manager the night of December 12th,” the restaurant’s newest Instagram put up learn. “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.

“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 assertion continued. “We deeply regret how our manager handled this situation.”

Droege and his date arrived at El Compadre in Echo Park — the family-owned restaurant additionally operates areas in Hollywood and downtown L.A. — at 5:30 p.m. Monday, then proceeded to get pleasure from what Droege stated was a beautiful dinner with wonderful service. In accordance with the actor, after they’d closed their tab and have been ending their second spherical of drinks, they put their arms round one another and kissed a couple of instances.

That’s when an worker whom Droege described as an older man within the restaurant’s uniform approached their desk.

“He basically said, ‘You guys can’t do that here.’ And we were so confused, so I was just saying, ‘What?’” Droege informed The Occasions in an interview Wednesday morning. “[The employee] said, ‘This is a family restaurant,’ and I said, ‘Are people complaining about what we’re doing?’ And he waved his hands in front of our faces and said, ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re the president of the United States. You guys can’t do that here. We don’t accept that behavior here.’”

Droege stated he and his date have been bowled over and put down their drinks and left the restaurant with out additional participating.

“It was just so shocking to us that in Los Angeles, in 2022, that this would happen — but sadly it did,” he stated. This was Droege’s first go to to the native chain’s Echo Park location — and the primary time he had encountered homophobia from a restaurant worker.

“I’ve never had anything like this happen to me in Los Angeles,” he stated. “I’ve had homophobic slurs thrown at me in different spaces — outside of gay bars and all of that stuff — but never in a place of business.”

The actor and comic — a fixture in L.A.’s comedy scene with an extended record of credit on TV (“Search Party,” “The Goldbergs”) and movie (“The Extinction of Fireflies”) — famous that there have been different, straight {couples} additionally hugging and kissing. However none of them have been approached as Droege and his date have been.

“We weren’t getting frisky or anything,” he stated, including that the worker didn’t outright say that different company had complained, which led Droege and his date to imagine the worker was personally offended.

Reached by telephone, a consultant for El Compadre initially declined to offer remark, however a separate rep emailed the restaurant’s second assertion that it posted on social media Wednesday.

On Tuesday afternoon El Compadre’s official Instagram account posted its first assertion, which was eliminated by Wednesday morning. The Instagram account has since disabled feedback on its posts.

“We have read all of your comments and concerns and we are looking into what happened Monday night at our Echo Park location,” the put up initially learn. “While we work to learn more, we want to make it clear we stand with the LGBTQ community and hold no space for intolerance, hate or unjust treatment of our beloved guests regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or status.”

El Compadre has three areas round Los Angeles, together with a restaurant on Sundown Boulevard in Hollywood, pictured.

(Lucas Kwan Peterson / Los Angeles Occasions)

Droege stated that the now-deleted assertion didn’t really feel like an apology, nor have representatives for El Compadre contacted him or his date, which Droege would welcome. He finds the shortage of communication, to not point out the deletion of the primary assertion, to be damning.

“If I posted that I had a bad burrito, they would, I’m sure, write me a message and say, ‘Dinner’s on us next time,’ no questions asked,” Droege informed The Occasions. “But when it’s this, the fact that they’ve been silent — and I understand legal stuff and whatever they have to deal with — they’re speaking volumes. I have nothing to gain from this; my date doesn’t even want to come out publicly, because we’re not a couple. We’ve just gone on a couple of dates, we’re sort of figuring that out. I could lose that.”

Past an apology from El Compadre, Droege is hoping that the native chain will higher practice its workers to make sure company don’t really feel discriminated in opposition to.

Now that his posts have gone viral, he has been overwhelmed by the swell of help he has obtained on-line.

Amid the feedback from high-profile supporters are vows to cease frequenting the old-school restaurant and bar, which opened its first location in 1975 in Hollywood and is well-known for its “flaming margarita.”

“I’m so sorry Drew,” wrote actor and Broadway performer Nick Adams within the remark part of Droege’s Instagram put up. “Will never step foot in there again.”

“MadTV” star Mo Collins stated she was “furious” in regards to the incident, promising she’d “no longer go there.” “That’s crossing a huge line,” she stated. “I don’t care how good their margaritas are.”

Mary Elizabeth Ellis of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” made the same vow and stated she’d name the restaurant to complain.

Chloe Fineman, a solid member on “Saturday Night Live,” known as the institution “assholes” and stated she was “so so so sorry.”

Golden Globe-winning actor Matt Bomer and Kate Micucci, one half of the musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates, additionally had Droege’s again.

Drew Droege starred as Rose Nylund in "Golden Girlz Live" at Cavern Club Theater

Drew Droege starred as Rose Nylund in “Golden Girlz Live” on the Cavern Membership Theater earlier this 12 months.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Occasions)

Others have defended El Compadre and shared their very own, extra optimistic experiences as members of the LGBTQ group. Droege stated he believes and helps these commenters too. All he hoped to do was share his personal expertise this week.

“This made us feel less-than and made us feel really judged,” Droege stated. “All the fears that we have as gay people out in public — I mean, there’s a lot of really, truly horrifying things that continue to happen to us in this country, in this world every day, and this was so minor compared to anything like that. It was just a reminder of, ‘Oh, you might think you’re safe in Los Angeles, but you’re not.’”

Many on-line, together with Droege, have redirected would-be patrons to Casita del Campo in Silver Lake as a extra LGBTQ-friendly various for traditional Mexican meals. Droege himself has carried out in drag at that restaurant’s basement venue, the Cavern Membership Theater, together with in latest productions similar to “Golden Girlz Live.”

For the previous twenty years, Droege has been performing stand-up and sketch comedy round Los Angeles and commonly contributes to improvisational comedy teams such because the Groundlings and Upright Residents Brigade. In 2010, he gained an Outfest award for rising expertise.

Since then, Droege has acted in supporting roles in an extended record of TV reveals, together with “How I Met Your Mother,” “New Girl,” “Key and Peele” and “The Goldbergs,” and he was a voice actor for three characters on “Bob’s Burgers.” Within the HBO Max darkish comedy “Search Party,” Droege performed Ashley, an enthralling, high-priced marriage ceremony planner.

Maybe his most memorable efficiency got here on-line in an internet sequence of Chloë Sevigny impressions, a part of a send-up of the quintessential indie actor that he created in the early 2000s.

True to his comedic roots, Droege received the final chuckle in his social media posts about his expertise at El Compadre.

“Also after this happened to us,” he wrote, “we went outside and made out in their parking lot.”