A Huntington beach restaurant has come under fire after demanding customers to provide proof that they didn't get the jab in order to gain entry into the establishment.
While the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has many businesses exercising caution, Basilico's Pasta E Vino in Huntington Beach, California, posted flyers outside his business as well as on social media requiring proof that customers are not vaccinated.
'We Have Zero Tolerance for Treasonous, Anti-American Stupidity'
"Notice: Proof of being unvaccinated required. We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity. Thank you for pondering," reads the flyer, which includes an image of a broken syringe. This is the latest in a series of defiant actions from the restaurant, which started with an anti-masking campaign in May 2020, when the restaurant asked customers to remove masks when they were inside.
The restaurant's stance has drawn criticism on social media as well as on Yelp, where the business has received a barrage of negative reviews in the wake of its new "unvaccinated diners only" policy.
"My wife and I ate here pre-covid and the food was great. Went to eat here a couple weeks ago and passed on it after we saw the 'only unvaccinated patrons allowed' signs out front," wrote one user. "All businesses should be promoting vaccinations as it's the only way out of this mess. I can't support anti-science stances like this. It's silly and childish and irresponsible. I have to assume that their staff and most of their current patrons are unvaccinated. Ya'll have fun getting sick as covid wave 3 rips through SoCal as schools open up in a couple weeks."
"Given the owner's stance on the pandemic and restrictions, I will never eat here again. Now they're requiring proof that people are not vaccinated to dine there on third rate Italian food? What a slap in the face to all those who died from COVID-19," commented another. The sudden influx of negative reviews and increased media attention forced the website to temporarily suspend review submissions on the page.
Owner Responds to Backlash, Calls it a 'Badge of Honor'
The owner of the business responded to the backlash in a post on Facebook, writing, in part, "Here come the haters, and with it, the harassing non-stop phone calls, threats and hundreds of one star reviews. And guess what? We at Basilico's Pasta e Vino wear it as a badge of honor."
The post added, "We feel blessed to go into battle against all of you in defense of American liberty and freedom, so bring it on!"