New parents of an immunocompromised son were kicked out of a Texas restaurant last week after refusing to take off the masks they wear to protect their baby.
Natalie Wester and her husband, Jose, went to Hang Time, a restaurant and bar in the northern suburb of Rowlett of Dallas with some friends, on Sept. 11 when they said employees told them not to wear their masks indoors.
Wester said she was trying to explain how her son is immunocompromised when a waitress told them that if they had a problem with the policy, they could leave — which they did.
Now the bar and grill owner defends his policy of not wearing a mask, calling mask wearing a “common reaction” and saying he will continue to enforce the policy in an interview with CBS DFW.
Natalie Wester and her husband, Jose, went to Hang Time, a restaurant and bar in the northern suburb of Rowlett of Dallas with some friends, on Sept. 11, when they said employees told them not to wear their masks indoors.
The couple are new parents to Austin, a four-month-old baby diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis. They now wear masks when venturing out of their home to protect him
Wester wrote about her experience in the restaurant on Facebook
Wester said she and Jose went to the restaurant last Saturday to meet up with some friends — a rare outing for the couple since their son, Austin, was born four months ago.
“If you’ve ever been new parents, it’s so important to your mental health to have those few hours off, like once or twice a month,” she told the local CBS affiliate.
But when she got there, she posted on Facebook, the hostess asked her and her husband to take off their masks.
“The music was loud, so I assumed she wanted to see our faces for our IDs,” Wester wrote. ‘She said something about taking off the mask again, [but] because I couldn’t hear her very well, I wiped it away.’
Wester and her husband then sat down at a table, ordered a drink and an appetizer, she said, but about half an hour later her waitress sat down next to her and said, “Our manager told me to come over here because I’m nicer.” . than he is – but this is politics, and I want you to take off your masks.’
“She said the mask ‘doesn’t work, it’s like using a fence to keep mosquitoes out and not giving people enough oxygen,'” Wester told her post, noting that when Austin was born, they found out he had cystic fibrosis – a genetic condition that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system, and other organs.
“Cystic fibrosis is a very life-threatening condition,” Wester continued, “and if my son got COVID, he would have to be hospitalized.”
So, she said, “when my husband and I are away, which is not often, we choose to wear a mask.”
“I informed my waitress of this information,” she said, “and she told me she could close my check for me if it was a problem.
“Good,” said Wester. “My husband and I left without a scene.”
The owner, identified only as “Tom,” told CBS DFW he will continue to enforce his no-mask rule
He said his restaurant (pictured) is a private business and he has the right to refuse service to customers wearing masks
But now the owner, identified only as “Tom” by CBS, is defending his policy of no-masking by telling CBS DFW that his restaurant is a private business and that he has every right to refuse service to a customer.
“I’ve spent my money on the company, my blood, sweat and tears on this company, and I don’t want masks here,” he said, adding, “I find the general reaction with masks ridiculous in the United States right now.”
His restaurant has no signs warning customers about the policy, CBS reports DFW, so the hostess tells everyone to take off their masks when they enter.
“So when they took off their masks last night, they were reminded to take them off at the front,” he said of Wester and her husband. “They didn’t want to, so we asked them to leave.”
Tom said he didn’t know they had an immunocompromised baby, but he’s adamant that people in his company are not allowed to wear masks – a rule he says he will continue to enforce.