A same-sex couple got a very unorthodox thank you for their tip when a waitress from an East Texas restaurant told them, "We don’t serve fags here," after they finished eating their breakfast Tuesday morning, East Texas ABC-affiliate station KLTV reports.
Collin Dewberry and his partner Kelly Williams told KLTV a waitress at Big Earl’s Restaurant, in Pittsburg, Texas, told them they "don’t serve fags" after they ate and paid for their food. The waitress, who is the restaurant owner’s daughter, made the disparaging comment as the couple was leaving.
"We’ve never had that kind of hate displayed to us before," Dewberry told the station.
They say the waitress also recited the phrase: "Here at Big Earl’s we like for men to act like men and for ladies to act like ladies, so we want you to never return."
Dewberry says the waitress made the comments, "so nonchalantly, almost like she was reading a piece of paper."
It turns out, the waitress may have been reading the phrase off a piece of paper after all -- a sign hanging on Big Earl’s front door has the same message.
The owner, Earl Cheney, told KLTV the sign had been on the restaurant’s front door since it opened three years ago. He added he has the right to refuse service to Dewberry and Williams in the future because they didn’t follow the sign’s instructions.
Cheney says he took issue with their behavior, not their sexual orientation. Their behavior? Their legs touched.
"I didn’t go over there to inspect to see what he was rubbing," he said. "That’s just not appropriate in a family restaurant that has a sign on the front door that we just don’t do that here."
He went on to defend his daughter’s actions, saying, "She’s a young lady, didn’t know what else to say, and they just kept on and she finally said, ’we just don’t like fags.’"
Cheney said the couple was badgering his daughter and he has the evidence to back it up, citing footage captured on a surveillance camera. He wouldn’t allow KLTV view the recordings, however.
"She didn’t know what else to say. She was frustrated and flustered, you know, and they were going out just laughing and carrying on," he said.
Cheney said he’s served plenty of same-sex couples without a problem because they all followed his policy.
"You’re welcome to come and eat, but a man act like a man and a woman act like a woman," he said. "Dress appropriately and act appropriately when you’re in a public place."
When KLTV asked Cheney what a man and woman should act like, he said, "The same thing it says. That a man’s supposed to stand up and be a leader. He’s not supposed to be a woman. He’s not supposed to come in here in a dress."
Since the story made headlines, Big Earl’s Yelp rating has plummeted as a number of users gave the restaurant poor reviews.
"Horrible staff. Rude. Nasty backwards homophobic types. Avoid at all cost," one user wrote.
"Their food tastes like used condoms and the staff has the manners to match. Don’t bother coming in unless you like miserable dining experiences," another said.
"Stopped in here for a bite. DIRTY. Waitress was an obvious meth addict. Big Earl was a bitter old queen. Just mean. I wouldn’t bring my dog to this place. EVER," a Yelp reviewer wrote.
Someone even uploaded a photo of Fred Phelps, the founder of the vehnmintly anti-gay Westboro Batpist Church, with the text, "Fred Phelps Seal of Approval."
You can read all the reviews here.
Dewberry acknowledged the reviews, saying it made the experience something powerful and rewarding.
NSFW: Reviewers have also taken to Big Earl’s Facebook page and have flooded it with lewd photos. Be prepared: not suitable for work.