Chris Cuomo interviews a restaurant owner above a chyron reading "restaurant owner requires 'proof of being unvaccinated'"

Things We Saw Today: Restaurant Owner Requiring “Proof of Being Unvaccinated” Is Doing a Bizarre Media Tour

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Earlier this week, a restaurant in Huntington Beach, California was getting attention after the owner put a sign on the door stating proof of being “unvaccinated” is required for entry.

This is pretty clearly just meant to make a statement, since there’s no actual way to prove you haven’t gotten the vaccine. But a message posted to the restaurant’s social media pages stated that there are actually some anti-safety measures in place.

“So to be clear, if you enter the restaurant for dine in, and want to wear a mask, you must remove it when sitting down,” the message reads. “If you are standing around inside and waiting for a table, or waiting inside to pick up food for yourself or as a third party delivery driver, and you are wearing a mask, you will be asked to wait outside.”

Now Tony Roman, the owner of Basilico’s Pasta e Vino, is making the cable news rounds, and it is … weird.

First, Roman went on Chris Cuomo’s show on CNN. When asked if his anti-mask campaign is just a publicity stunt, Roman replied, “It’s an IQ test.”

“Like I say to people when they ask me, if they’re so blinded with their rage and their hate,” he continued. “I tell them, you know what? If you still don’t understand it, maybe we should put a sign up that says you’re too stupid to come into the restaurant. I mean, it’s very simple. Just like I said, I think you figured it out. Am I right?”

It’s hard to tell if he’s right seeing as none of that made any sort of sense whatsoever, but I’m going to guess that no, he’s not right.

“I don’t even know what you’re saying right now,” Cuomo told him.

When Cuomo asked Roman if he or any of his family is vaccinated, the restaurant owner asked if Cuomo would answer the same question. Cuomo immediately said that yes, he is vaccinated and so is his family. Roman replied, “You were hesitant,” even though Cuomo very much was not.

Roman then repeated the same question, asking Cuomo if he’s vaccinated. When Cuomo once again said yes, Roman told him he’s “failing the IQ test.”

I’m sure Cuomo is just devastated to hear that.

Following his appearance on CNN, Roman then went on Fox News to brag about how well he did.

The absolute cherry on top of all of this nonsense is that while railing against masks and the vaccine, Roman was also happy to take $57,738 in funds from the government’s Paycheck Protection Program.

When the OC Register reached out to Roman for comment, he replied, “PPP? It’s our money, not theirs! Don’t let them tax you and then use your money to build a war chest, so they can fund programs to advance and enforce tyrannical mandates and restrictions against you!”

OK, sure. (via HuffPost)

  • JK Simmons might be reprising his role as Commissioner Gordon in the Batgirl movie. Fingers crossed! (via /Film)
  • Jamie Lee Curtis shares that her daughter has come out as transgender and that she’ll be officiating her daughter’s wedding next year. (via HuffPost)
  • Netflix unpacks every Easter egg and horror reference in the Fear Street trilogy. (via Games Radar)
  • Why yes, I do remember:

  • Rep. Mo Brooks, who is being sued for his role in allegedly helping incite the Capitol riot, and who has repeatedly insisted that the crowd he spoke to at the rally preceding the riot was totally chill, has now revealed that he wore hidden body armor to that “peaceful protest.” (via Slate)
  • Searchlight’s “Untitled Murder Mystery” now has a name–See How They Run–and an impressive cast. (via Variety)

Happy almost Friday, everybody!

(image: YouTube)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.