Basilico's Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach, California, is throwing down in the face of renewed concerns over COVID-19 and its fast-spreading Delta variant.
The establishment just posted a sign on its front door requiring that patrons provide "proof of being UNvaccinated."
Basilico’s Pasta e Vino in Huntington Beach is requiring diners provide "proof of being unvaccinated," despite the… https://t.co/SItfYm4ORN— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOX 11 Los Angeles)1627322403.0
"We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity," the sign reads. "Thank you for pondering."
And the establishment wasn't through.
"Los Angeles Times prints an article about us, and again here come the haters, and with it, the harassing nonstop phone calls, threats, and hundreds of one-star reviews," the post read. "And guess what? We at Basilico's Pasta e Vino wear it all as a badge of honor! Attention: tiny tyrants, wannabe little dictators, pro-lockdown/pro-mask/pro-mandatory vaccine mini-Gestapo American traitors and snitches, and yes especially 'Gavin Pelosi' and 'Stronzo Fauci' ... We feel blessed to go into battle against all of you in defense of American liberty and freedom, so bring it on!"
Turns out an employee confirmed that the restaurant isn't actually checking patrons' vaccine status, the paper said — but the rebellious spirit of Basilico's, and that of its outspoken owner Tony Roman, is coming through loud and clear.
What's the background?
The cheeky display on the restaurant's door wasn't its first shot across the bow.
Back in March 2020 when restaurants across the state stopped indoor dining, the Times said Basilico's continued to welcome patrons. Then when officials ordered face mask enforcement among eateries, the paper said Basilico's declared itself a mask-free zone and required diners to remove them before entering.
More from the Times:
In June, Basilico's began advertising $25 T-shirts with the phrase "Leave the vax, take the cannoli," a play on a line from "The Godfather" film, next to an illustration of a hand controlling a Marionette.
A similar sentiment from the restaurant — "Leave the mask, take the cannoli" — appeared on a billboard along La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles last year.
"Imagine if Americans would have refused mask mandates, or better even banned the masks like we have throughout the lockdowns," Basilico's posted on Instagram, the paper reported. "The tiny tyrants then would have never dared to think they could try and force vaccine mandates."
More from the Times:
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control launched an investigation into the restaurant in July 2020 after receiving a complaint about the business, said John Carr, a spokesman for the department.
The agency declined to elaborate about the nature of the complaint, but it moved forward with an administrative procedure against Basilico's, which could result in a penalty ranging from fines to the revocation of the restaurant's liquor license. Officials declined to comment further, citing pending litigation.
The paper added that state has fined Basilico's to the tune of more than $152,000 for COVID-related violations — but Roman hasn't appealed the citations, instead saying in a video posted to the restaurant's Instagram that he won't pay the fines.
Here's a KTTV-TV report than ran last year when Roman & Co. were deep in battle: