“Cha Cha” Cafe: Gay People, Stay Out!

“Cha Cha,” a Jaffa Restaurant, does not allow gay couples into the place. According to the restaurant’s policy, which is even stated on a sign on the door, only families or “husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend” will be served. Gay couples who walked in or sought in recent weeks to reserve a table by phone were refused.

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“I went one evening for dinner with my boyfriend but they didn’t let us in. We were told that the restaurant has a policy that only families are allowed to eat there. I tried to argue, but it didn’t really help. It was a dialogue of the deaf. They didn’t even try to explain why a couple of men can’t eat at the restaurant. didn’t give any reason,” tells A., who tried several times to walk in with his partner but was refused service.

“They simply insisted that we could not go in. We tried to argue, the tones were high, nothing helped, and we ended up staying out,” said R., another potential customer. “Clearly there is a problem here that purposely prevents gay couples from entering the restaurant, otherwise why make this policy, which in my opinion is not valid at all. They live in the Middle Ages. ”

Mako decided to check it out and called last week at around 6pm to reserve a table for a couple of men for dinner in the restaurant.

Mako reporter: “Good evening. I’d like to reserve a table for me and my boyfriend.”
A worker who picked up the call passed it to Tareq, co-owner.
Tareq: “Halo. Hi.”
reporter: “Hello. I would like to reserve a table for me and for my boyfriend.”
Tareq: “I’m sorry, boyfriends we do not accept.”
Reporter: “Why not? What’s the problem?”.
Tareq: “I’m sorry. It’s the restaurant’s policy.”
Reporter: “What does it mean, restaurant policy?”.
Tareq: “We only serve families and couples.”
Reporter: “We are a couple, we are a family.”
Tareq insists: “No boyfriends. That’s the policy of the place, bro.”
Reporter: “Do you have something against gay people?”.
Tareq: “No”.
Reporter: “So why can’t I come with my partner?”.
Tareq: “There’s a sign on the door that it is only for families and couples.”
Reporter: “We are in 2016. Wherever I go in Israel with my boyfriend I’m allowed in. It is illegal to not let us in.”
Tariq: “Men we do not accept. If you come with a girlfriend, a mother, wife, there’s no problem.”
Reporter: “Tell me why I can’t come with my boyfriend.”
Tariq hangs up the phone and the call ended.
However, when we tried to book a table for a couple of women, it went smoothly. Apparently the restaurant owners have no problem with lesbians.

Cha Cha restaurant said in a statement: “Café Cha Cha allows any person in regardless of race religion or sex. Within the place there’s an area for women and families and there is a sign at the entrance announcing it. In the debated case the two men insisted on sitting in the family area, though an alternative place was offered to them. Regarding your argument about the ‘illegal’ act of placing a sign, why is the lesbian community, for example, allowed in, and a cafe is allowed to allocate space only for families?”