A woman named Rachel Curry is calling for a boycott against iconic restaurant Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles. In a social media post, Curry detailed a negative experience that she had on Saturday, June 8, saying the incident began after she and a woman kissed at the restaurant.
Curry claims that Norm Langer, the owner, approached the table, introduced himself and said he “can’t have this in his restaurant because some of the customers don’t understand.” Reached for comment by Eater, Curry says, “It was immediately clear to me and my date that this was about my being gay. It would’ve been a completely different story if we were a man or woman. He came up to our table with an authoritarian posture and appeared out of nowhere. The fact that he said, ‘my customers would not understand’... Someone complained and he enforced that. [This] shows his customers didn’t want us to be gay in that restaurant. What we were doing was not excessive PDA. We were being affectionate with each other in a restaurant, which anyone should be allowed to do. He was discriminating against us. It’s not about PDA, it’s about clear displays of affection and that was clear to both of us. We left there feeling hopeless and violated. This kind of discrimination happens to queer people on a daily basis. I wouldn’t make something like this up. I want to prevent future harm for people that go into [Langer’s] in the future.”
Curry then told Langer that she lived in the neighborhood and used to like the restaurant, but would not be returning. According to Curry, Langer responded by describing her as selfish, and allegedly stood over the table while she and her dining companion paid and left the restaurant. Curry initially posted her Instagram post yesterday evening, but set her Instagram account to private so that only approved followers could see her profile.
On Curry’s post, another user by the name of @duhnay — who claims to be a Langer’s employee — made a lengthy, unsanctioned statement in the comments. The alleged Langer’s employee identifies as a gay woman and wrote, “Gay or straight excessive PDA is never appropriate and Langer’s is a family restaurant.” The alleged Langer’s employee continued by writing “Norm Langer meant no harm. You are not the only couple that has been reprimanded for PDA in the restaurant.”
When reached for comment, Langer’s cited a longstanding policy that prohibits any type of “making out” at Langer’s, no matter the sexual orientation. Langer’s Deli provided the following statement:
“Langer’s Deli is open and inclusive to all people. Anyone who comes to our family restaurant is treated equally and with respect. We are one of the only unionized family restaurants in Los Angeles and employ people of various races, religions, and sexual orientation. We treat all customers equally and never discriminate. We have a long-standing policy against anyone from “making out” whether straight or same-sex couples, it does not matter. I have stopped heterosexual couples from making out, and I would do the same if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were making out. We are a family restaurant, and I apologize if some people do not like our policy.
UPDATE: This story now includes an official statement from Rachel Curry.