Echo Park Restaurant Fires Manager for Shaming Gay Patrons

Local actor Drew Droege was told by a manager that El Compadre was “a family restaurant” when he smooched his companion after a meal

Actor Drew Droege—you might know him from the wildly popular Chloe Sevigny impressions he’s been doing for 20 years—went on a date this week to a lovely local Mexican restaurant in Echo Park, where he and his companion enjoyed good food, great company, excellent service—and a homophobic manager who scolded them for kissing in public.

Following an internal investigation, that manager has been “terminated,” according to the restaurant’s Instagram page, and the eatery has offered an apology.

As Droege describes the evening, he went on a “really nice date” that was marred by a “really sad, disgusting, hateful moment in the middle.” The actor and his friend went to El neighborhood favorite El Compadre, enjoyed the food, and canoodled a bit in the restaurant while they waiting to catch a show downtown.

“Finishing up our second drinks, we had our arms around each other and kissed a few times,” Droege wrote.

At that point, the manager in question approached the pair, saying “something to the affect [sic] of ‘you guys can’t do that here.'” Further clarifying his point, the dining room tyrant added, “this is a family restaurant.”

When Droege asked if anyone had complained about the PDA, he says the manager then threw up his hands, snapping, “I don’t care if you’re the President of the United States, we don’t allow your behavior here.”

Droege and his date left, shocked. “Ever wonder why gay people often seem nervous?” Droege wrote. “Why do we walk faster? Why do we work so hard to please others and be good little citizens in this world?”

But he didn’t let the incident get him too down, adding that after he and his dining partner were made to feel unwelcome in the restaurant, they exacted the best revenge they could at the time: “we went outside and made out in their parking lot.”


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A post shared by Drew Droege (@drew_droege)

On Thursday, El Compadre responded. In short, heads rolled.

The statement reads, in part:

“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 the door, 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.”

Now Drew Droege—and all amorous diners—can dine at El Compadre safe in the knowledge that may neck in the restaurant before, during, and after their meal. And, of course, everyone is still welcome to keep it old-school, and continue making out in the parking lot.

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