California taqueria closes after customers harass, throw 'objects and liquids' at employees over mask rules

Hugo’s Tacos, which has two outposts in Los Angeles, announced the temporary closure on its social media pages

A California taco restaurant has closed its doors, citing patron harassment as the cause for the move.

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Hugo’s Tacos, which has two outposts in Los Angeles – Atwater Village and Studio City – posted a notice on its business Facebook page announcing it was closing both locations temporarily because of the alleged continued harassment and violence its employees faced from patrons who refused to follow coronavirus regulations.

“Our Taco Stands are exhausted by the constant conflicts over guests refusing to wear masks. Staff have been harassed, called named, and had objects and liquids thrown at them,” the statement reads. “A mask isn’t symbolic of anything other than our desire to keep our staff healthy.”

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The restaurant, which has reportedly been part of the community for 15 years, concluded its message with “hope the LA community comes together on this issue so we can feel safe and reopen soon.”

The restaurant has posted it rules for wearing masks at both of its locations, but, according to the notice, customers have not followed the mandate and have reportedly become upset when employees ask them to cover up.

“When you ask some of the customers, they get upset, they get mad. They don’t like to do that,” Executive Chef Nabor Diaz told KTLA. “At this point, it’s really important for us to put the safety of our crew first.”

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Those on Facebook were supportive of the eatery, and expressed condolences and anger at those who refused to follow the guidelines.

The restaurant has posted it rules for wearing masks at both of its locations, but, according to the notice, customers have not followed the mandate and have reportedly become upset when employees ask them to cover up.

The restaurant has posted it rules for wearing masks at both of its locations, but, according to the notice, customers have not followed the mandate and have reportedly become upset when employees ask them to cover up. (Google Maps)

“I am sorry for the financial hardship this causes your business, I have never eaten at your establishments, but will seek them out when it is safe because of your care for your workers. Thank you,” one person wrote.

“You are doing the right thing! We’ll be there when you’re ready,” another wrote with a thumbs-up emoji.

“Thank you for following safe business practices. We must stand together against these entitled morons,” another commented.

In Los Angeles County, the number of positive cases has increased, especially in 18 to 40 year olds, which have grown 44 percent in confirmed cases in two weeks. On Sunday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new order for bars in several counties, including Los Angeles, to close as spikes continue in the state.

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Though restaurants are allowed to remain open for dine-in, sit-down and take out meal options, as long as establishments adhere to increased sanitation and social distancing policies.

California requires those in public areas to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

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