Texas couple kicked out of restaurant after wearing masks

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Texas couple kicked out of restaurant after wearing masks

A Texas restaurant tossed out a couple who wore face coverings to protect their immunocompromised 4-year-old son – and its owner is defending the move, saying “I don’t want masks in here.”

Natalie Wester and her husband went to Hang Time Bar & Grill in Rowlett earlier this month with some friends to let loose, but the new parents decided to mask up out of an abundance of caution due to their at-risk child at home, who has cystic fibrosis, KTVT reported.

“If you’ve ever been new parents, having those couple of hours out like once or twice a month is so important for your mental health,” Wester told the station Saturday.

But hopes of a relaxing, stress-free outing were dashed when a waitress told the fully vaccinated couple they’d need to take off their masks as part of the restaurant’s dress code, Wester said.

“Our waitress came over, sat down next to me and said, ‘So, our manager sent us over because I am nicer than he is and yes, this is very political, but you need to take your mask off,’” Wester recalled.

The owner of the restaurant, which also features live music, confirmed that the couple was asked to leave on Sept. 10 because they didn’t check their face coverings at the door.

Natalie Wester (left) and her husband were kicked out of Hang Time Bar & Grill in Rowlett, Tx for wearing masks to protect their unvaccinated son.
Natalie Wester (left) and her husband were kicked out of Hang Time Bar & Grill in Rowlett, Tx for wearing masks to protect their unvaccinated son.
Natalie Wester Facebook

“I’ve spent my money on this business, I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears in this business and I don’t wany any masks in here,” the owner, identified only as Tom, told the station.

The owner said he has every right to refuse business to anyone who doesn’t adhere to his unofficial dress code. There’s no sign stating the policy, but a hostess tells all customers that they must take off their masks at the front door, KTVT reported.

“I feel the overall reaction with masks is ridiculous in the United States right now,” the owner said. “So when they put their masks on the other night, they were reminded that they were asked at the front to take it off. They didn’t want to, so we asked them to leave.”

The owner said he was unaware that the face coverings were to protect the couple’s immunocompromised son, but insisted the rules applied to all customers and will continue to be enforced, KTVT reported.

An attorney told the station that rules or policies enforced by businesses cannot violate a person’s health needs as specified under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the legality of the face mask ban is unclear, according to the report.

A message by The Post seeking additional comment from the restaurant early Monday was not immediately returned. Its Instagram page was no longer available.

Wester, meanwhile, detailed the “very unpleasant experience” she had with her husband, Jose, in a lengthy Facebook post. She said they donned masks to help ensure their son, who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, would not pick up COVID-19 since he would need to be hospitalized if he did.

“I wanted to share this information in case anybody who was actually wise enough to be afraid of Covid could avoid this place,” Webster wrote on Faceboook.

“I am so shocked at the level of ignorance in our country, and scared to think how much worse the pandemic will get knowing so many folks think this way.”

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