HOUSTON - A local family-owned restaurant says they were harassed by protestors urging customers to boycott the business for abiding by the state’s mask mandate on Saturday night.
Miller’s Café is a family-owned restaurant with four locations in the Houston area.
Live-stream video from a customer captures a group of 20 plus people protesting outside of Miller’s Café on North Shepherd Drive.
The protestors can be seen waving American flags and Trump flags chanting "Boycott Miller’s."
The family-owned business known for their burgers has been operating in the Houston area for nearly 40 years.
"My cashier tells me that they came in and they weren't wearing any masks. And she asked them to wear a mask and if they didn't have any, we had some that they can have. And they started yelling at her saying we were taking away their constitutional freedoms and their rights and they left the store. And that's when the protest started and lasted for about an hour," said Jonathan White, one of the owners of Miller's Cafe.
White said around 8 p.m. Saturday, several of the unidentified protestors tried to come inside the cafe, but got upset when they were asked to comply with Governor Abbott’s mask mandate.
Per the health department, White said they’re required to have a sign at the front of their business.
"As a small business owner, why is this my fault? This is a state mandate. And not only were they targeting my business, they were targeting the ER next door to us, where it's an obvious situation that you wear a mask inside. We've never taken any sort of political stance. What does any of this has to do with anything? We sell hamburgers," said White.
White's wife, Jessica Beer said the pandemic has already steeply affected their family this past year.
With four young kids of their own, including a newborn, they’re just trying to make ends meet.
Miller’s downtown location has been shut down since April and their other locations have been running with a 25% loss of sales or more.
With recurring instances of backlash against hospitality workers who are just trying to follow the rules,
White believes the protests aren’t free speech but rather, a form of bullying.
"If you don't like it, go to the Governor’s mansion, if you want to; if you want to make a statement. It's been hard enough for us this year. I mean, they literally took money out of our pockets last night. You know, they took tips out of our employee's hands. You know, it all trickles down to us all because they want to make a statement that has nothing to do with us," White said.