A California restaurant owner says he is banning gays and lesbians from his business, after the owner was allegedly told by a supervisor that he would not be allowed to serve them.
Sylvia M. Brown, owner of the La Piedra in San Jose, said in a statement Sunday that she is banning all people under age 18 from entering her restaurant because she believes the restaurant is “an establishment of the highest quality.”
Brown said she notified her manager, who was not immediately available for comment, that she was changing her policy to no gay or lesbian patrons and would not allow them in her establishment because of the negative reaction it has caused.
The manager allegedly told Brown she was going to ask the supervisor to remove the two men and a woman from the business, but Brown says she has not received a response.
“I have been a long-time supporter of the LGBT community and my heart goes out to the people who are LGBTQ and are struggling,” Brown wrote.
“I have always welcomed the gay community and we all have different backgrounds, so I have a lot of respect for them and I want to help them find their place in the community.”
Brown has been the owner of La Piesia since it opened in 2016.
She said she would not have allowed any other customers in her restaurant, including her own daughter, if she had known it would be such a hotbed for homophobia.
“We have never had any issues with anyone,” she said.
“If we knew it would cause any sort of problem, I would have never let them in.”
Brown’s statement said the restaurant’s manager told her she was being instructed to not allow any people under the age of 18 in her business, even though Brown had no such policy.
She also claimed the supervisor told her that if she did not allow homosexuals in the restaurant, she would have to terminate the employment of the two individuals and the woman.
“The manager told me that this is my business and I have to treat it like any other business and we will keep the same level of professionalism and standards,” Brown said.
The owner of another San Jose restaurant, the Lazy Bear, said it is also banning people under 18 from the establishment.
“My company is not open to anyone under the 18, not in our dining room, not at the counter, not anywhere,” Lazy Dog owner David Ziegler said in an email.
Ziegler also said he has no plans to expand the business to accommodate anyone under 18.”
Lazy Dog is proud of our past and proud of who we are as a family.”
Ziegler also said he has no plans to expand the business to accommodate anyone under 18.