PITTSBURG (KYTX) - With a Facebook rating falling to a mere 1.5 stars, Big Earl has had a tough week. It stems from reports that an employee called two male customers what's considered a homophobic slur and told them not to return. Earl Cheney says that name-calling never happened but he adds the men were acting inappropriately in his restaurant.
"They started sliding down underneath the booth, and began to rub on each others privates with their feet." - Earl Cheney, Owner of Big Earl's.
That's when Cheney's daughter, an employee, asked them to leave.
"She said 'we would appreciate if you wouldn't come back, until you learn how to act in public.'"
The men's claim has led to an uproar on social media.
"We have received over 200 death threats. We take it seriously."
Facebook posts said an organized protest would occur, today. People would come and order a glass of water and just sit. Cheney posted these signs in his parking lot, threatening to kick out anyone who wasn't there for every day business. He even had the Camp County Sheriff's Office patrol the outside of his store. The deputy had to kick out the lone protester from Longview. Dozens from the Pittsburg community came out in support of Big Earl and filled his seats so protesters couldn't.
"You can tell our business is hurting extremely from this."
Cheney says he has no problem with gays, lesbians, or anyone who wants to eat in his restaurant.
"I have gays who routinely come in here, that's not the issue. I ran out a married couple once, who were all over each other."
He's just hoping the controversy ends soon.