Drew Droege, a local actor, and comedian, said on his Instagram account that an employee at the El Compadre restaurant in Echo Park reprimanded him “for kissing another man.” Droege was the one who made the revelation.
According to Droege, he and date were in the middle of their second drink, embracing and kissing, when an El Compadre employee that Droege characterized as “a manager” approached them and “said something to [the] effect of ‘you guys can’t do that here.’”
The management is said to have told the couple that they were welcome to bring their children to the establishment. When Droege questioned if someone had complained, the manager responded by throwing their arms up and exclaiming, “I don’t care if you’re the President of the United States. Your behavior is not tolerated in this establishment. Droege and his companion got up and departed in amazement.
Both the food and the service had been “excellent” up until that point. “I will never be back [and] I encourage you to choose another place too,” he remarked a day later. “ Doege was left with a haunting and penetrating impression as a result of the delivery of the line “we’re a family restaurant.”
“Ever wonder why gay people often seem nervous?” The comedian wrote to his 23,000 followers. “Why do we walk faster? Why do we work so hard to please others and be good little citizens in this world?”
However, the couple continued to have a good time despite the homophobic slurs that were made. On his Instagram account, Droege explained what occurred next: “After this happened to us, we went outside and made out in their parking lot.”
El Compadre is a traditional Mexican restaurant that has been owned and operated by the same family since the 1970s. They first established themselves in Hollywood, but in 2004, they opened a second store in Echo Park on Sunset Boulevard, not too far from Dodger Stadium.
“We have read all of your comments and concerns, and we are looking into what occurred Monday night at our Echo Park location,” the restaurant said in a message that was placed on their Instagram page but has since been removed.
While we are working to get more information, we want to make it clear that we support the LGBTQ community and will not stand for intolerance, hatred, or unfair treatment of any of our valued guests because of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or status.
We were founded on the fundamental principle of doing everything with love, and we are committed to doing all it takes to ensure that all visitors are warmly welcomed into a secure community no matter who they are.
Please allow us some time so that we can investigate what happened, get additional information, and take the necessary steps. You can expect an update from us very shortly. While we work on finding a solution to this problem, please know that we love you and appreciate your patience.
“We want to sincerely apologize for the actions of our manager 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. 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. We take pride in the diversity of our customers who have supported and enjoyed our family recipes handed down from generation to generation – and we are ashamed that this happened. 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 deeply regret how our manager handled this situation. We are dedicated to showing our commitment to all of our customers regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or status.”