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Controversy Ensues as Well-Known California Eatery Refuses to Serve Jewish Customer

A popular restaurant in West Hollywood, California drew protests and widespread backlash online after it allegedly denied service to a Jewish man wearing a kippah.

Mauro Cafe is a small Italian restaurant and cafe in Los Angeles County often frequented by celebrities. On Sunday, a man wearing a kippah said he attempted to order a cup of coffee from the restaurant but was refused.

Video of the man walking into the restaurant before coming out and saying he was denied service because he looked Jewish went viral on social media this week.

“The owner, she says I cannot buy a coffee,” the man said in the video after walking out. When asked why he was refused service, he responded, “Because I look like I am Jewish.”

Although the owner of the restaurant, who has been identified as Evelyne Joan, appeared to turn the patron away, an employee of the restaurant later bought him a coffee, according to the video.

The incident sparked backlash among Los Angels’ Jewish community, prompting some to protest against antisemitism and discrimination more broadly outside of Mauro Cafe.

“Your Nazism knows no bounds,” one protester yelled.

“The owner of Mauro Cafe, Evelyn [Joan], does not demonstrate for any of the atrocities committed within walking distance of Israel!” another demonstrator said, calling out Joan for only protesting against the Jewish state.

“Apologize!” the activists demanded.

Social media users quickly noted that Joan has a history of protesting against Israel and Jewish sites. The nonprofit organization Jew Hate Database revealed that she participated in the violent anti-Israel demonstration outside of Adas Torah synagogue in the heavily-Jewish Pico-Robertson area of Los Angeles late last month.

In video posted to social media, Joan can be seen holding a microphone while preventing Jews from accessing the synagogue and shouting “Free Palestine” and “Shame on you!”

Demonstrators swarmed the synagogue to protest the sale of Israeli real estate taking place inside the building. The protests quickly descended into violence as anti-Israel protesters were caught on video shoving, punching, and screaming at those attempting to defend the synagogue.

The violence received widespread condemnation. US President Joe Biden slammed the protests as “antisemitic and un-American.”

Outside of Mauro Cafe, activists chastised Joan for her participation in the protest. “When it comes to Jews she runs and blocks their place of worship!” they said, referring to the anti-Israel demonstrators who waved Palestine flags and donned keffiyehs while blocking entry into the Adas Torah synagogue.

Prominent figures on social media decried the restaurant’s apparent anti-Jewish discrimination this past weekend. “Imagine if a white business didn’t serve a black customer. Lead story of every single news program. Mauro Cafe. Run by racist dirtbags,” tweeted conservative political commentator Dave Rubin.