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BREAKING: Houston’s El Real Seems to Respond to El Tiempo Controversy

El Real El Tiempo Houston LGBTQ Jeff Sessions

Montrose-favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, El Real, seemed to respond to the controversy surrounding its neighbor, El Tiempo, with a sweet marquee message.

(HOUSTON) – Montrose — Houston’s very own, historic “gayborhood” — is known for its bright lights, fun nightlife, well-attended events, and displays of grandeur. And no local business is quite the part of that as El Real Tex-Mex Cafe. Located at 1201 Westheimer just yards from the intersection of Montrose Blvd., El Real has been serving Montrose patrons for years and boasts a marquee even larger than that of the the historic River Oaks Theater … or even Trader Joe’s. Following the controversy that transpired when local Houston staple El Tiempo Cantina posted photos to all of the social media accounts for each of their restaurants featuring U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it would appear as if El Real is making a courageous statement regarding the topic of heated discussion.

Sunday, a photograph of El Real’s marquee was taken by Pride Portraits owner Eric Edward Schell and shared to social media, which read:

“Brunch sessions at El rEAL ARE ALWAYS CAGE FREE AND FULL OF RAINBOWS.”

39102202_2005544769508840_7530553940341948416_o BREAKING: Houston's El Real Seems to Respond to El Tiempo Controversy
Photo by Eric Edward Schell of Pride Portraits

The clever quip played not only on the separation of immigrant parents from their children — the latter forced into detention camps — but also reminded Montrose residents and frequenters of the LGBTQ community that at least one of their restaurants does not tolerate the bigotry of Sessions’ political stances and actions … while also boasting an ingenuity-filled nod at the U.S. Attorney General’s surname.

As About Magazine first reported late Friday evening (which was later picked up by national news outlets such as Newsweek), El Tiempo found themselves under fire amongst Houstonians (especially those who identify as LGBTQ and Latino) when the U.S. Attorney General entered the establishment for a meal Friday afternoon. After an outcry of backlash on social media (prompting the hashtag #BoycottElTiempo) due to Sessions’ stances on the LGBTQ+ community and his part in the separation of immigrant parents from their children, El Tiempo released a statement via their social media shown below:

Screen-Shot-2018-08-11-at-12.46.02-AM BREAKING: Houston's El Real Seems to Respond to El Tiempo Controversy

Even after deleting the photograph of Sessions and executive chef Domenic Laurenzo, social media criers continued to insist that El Tiempo not be frequented. The logic lay two-fold: Sessions is an avid antagonist to migrant Americans from Mexico, as well as the fact that El Tiempo’s Montrose and Westheimer locations are usually visited by people of color and the LGBTQ community. Some even took to their social media to remind the restaurant chain that it was those two marginalized peoples that had kept the doors of the original El Tiempo open, operating, and expanding since 1998. El Tiempo soon closed down all its social media platforms and has remained hushed over this past weekend.

El Tiempo has been a popular Houston Tex-Mex chain since 1998, when Domenic Tiempo — eldest son of Houston restaurant legend “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo, restaurant proprietor of the Mama Ninfa’s restaurants — opened the Richmond location. Mama Ninfa’s restaurants were in the Laurenzo family until the 1990s, when bankruptcy struck Laurenzo. Laurenzo was also at the helm of Bambolino’s, a popular Italian restaurant that went on to accrue a total of 17 locations.

Some were unsurprised by the photo, as the Houston Chronicle reported in 2016 that restaurant owner and brother to the executive chef, Roland Laurenzo, had expressed publicly his support for sitting-president Donald J. Trump. Cognizant of this fact or not, many previous patrons of the chain have sworn loyalty to not returning to El Tiempo.

ELTIEMPO BREAKING: Houston's El Real Seems to Respond to El Tiempo Controversy
Screenshot courtesy of Edward Eric Schell.

BREAKING: El Tiempo Owner Releases Statement Regarding Jeff Sessions

El Tiempo Jeff Sessions LGBTQ Houston #BoycottElTiempo

El Tiempo Cantina owner, Roland Laurenzo, has released a statement regarding the Jeff Sessions photo posted on all their social media accounts earlier this evening, as well as the #BoycottElTiempo campaign.

(HOUSTON) – In a story broken by About Magazine earlier this evening, Houston’s once-renowned Mexican restaurant chain, El Tiempo, was met with a great deal of criticism following a photo of restaurant executive chef, Domenic Laurenzo, posing with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The LGBTQ community especially did not react well to this photo, creating the hashtag #BoycottElTiempo on social media platforms. Restaurant owner Roland Laurenzo has taken to social media to make a statement just minutes ago about the photo. A screenshot captured from the Facebook page of the soon-closing Montrose location can be seen here:

Screen-Shot-2018-08-11-at-12.46.02-AM BREAKING: El Tiempo Owner Releases Statement Regarding Jeff SessionsBut patrons residents local to the Montrose location — again, specifically LGBTQ customers — were not having it; and took to the comments section to air their grievances:

Screen-Shot-2018-08-11-at-12.47.10-AM BREAKING: El Tiempo Owner Releases Statement Regarding Jeff Sessions

Screen-Shot-2018-08-11-at-12.47.39-AM BREAKING: El Tiempo Owner Releases Statement Regarding Jeff SessionsScreen-Shot-2018-08-11-at-12.47.24-AM BREAKING: El Tiempo Owner Releases Statement Regarding Jeff Sessions

The restaurant chain, which has been in business since 1998 to a well-established Houston restauranteur family — also once having been the family behind Houston’s now-defunct Mama Ninfa’s — was already looking to the closure of the Montrose location due to an apartment complex being built in its place.

Sessions is part of the mastermind behind the separation of immigrant parents from their children which has been the subject of heated discussion lately. He is also notoriously anti-LGBTQ, having worked to enable many states across the U.S. to enact laws allowing discrimination. His wild unpopularity in both the LGBTQ and Latino communities could prove to be a large punch for the El Tiempo chain, which caters to large numbers of LGBTQ and Latino customers, specifically at the Montrose location.

This is a developing story. 

 

Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions Visit

El Tiempo Jeff Sessions LGBTQ Houston #BoycottElTiempo

Today, 10 August 2018, the hashtag #BoycottElTiempo began after the Mexican restaurant chain posted photos to each of their locations’  social media pages with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

(HOUSTON) – El Tiempo Cantina has been serving Houstonians since its Richmond location opened in 1998. The company was started by the Domenic Laurenzo, the eldest son of historic Houston restauranteur, Ninfa Laurenzo (known for Houston’s Mama Ninfa’s Tex Mex). As of late, El Tiempo has made the news cycle when they announced that their longtime Montrose location would be closing July 31 — which has since been postponed until after the August month according to the restaurant’s Facebook page — to make room for a new apartment building in the historic ‘gayborhood.’ But now El Tiempo is in the news again (and some agua caliente) for another reason.

Tonight, screenshots of social media posts by all El Tiempo locations all around Houston began to surface, captioned with “#BoycottElTiempo” after the company’s social media pages posted photos of executive chef of the restaurant chain and El Tiempo founder, Domenic Laurenzo, with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The caption on the photo read:

“We had the honor to serve Mr. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.”

ELTIEMPO Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions Visit
Screenshot courtesy of Edward Eric Schell.

Sessions is not a popular politician among the LGBTQIA community. After being appointed Attorney General of the United States by President Donald J. Trump in February of 2017, Sessions wasted no time in rolling back LGBTQ rights and protections. In fact his track record with our community includes, but is not limited to:

And that’s just to name a few. Social media posts and reactions from various Houstonians have inundated Facebook and Twitter:

Screen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.52.56-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions VisitScreen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.53.12-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions VisitScreen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.53.42-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions VisitScreen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.53.50-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions VisitScreen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.54.00-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions VisitScreen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.54.12-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions VisitScreen-Shot-2018-08-10-at-10.54.21-PM Breaking: Boycott El Tiempo Hashtag Surfaces After Jeff Sessions Visit

Residents of the Montrose area were deeply disappointed in July when El Tiempo announced its impending closure. Now, however, it seems like they’re singing a different tune. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Christina Edwards Wells Advances on AGT

CHRISTINA edwards wells america's got talent lbgtq Houston

Houston’s hometown hero, Christina Edwards Wells, has advanced to the live shows at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on America’s Got Talent

(HOUSTON) – She’s been keeping the secret for weeks — even when we interviewed her about it for our About Magazine Pride Edition — but now the rest of the world finally knows. Christina Edwards Wells, the 2016 Pride Houston Pride SuperStar and Montrose favorite, is progressing onto the live shows on NBC’s America’s Got Talent for season 13. Tonight’s episode, like her initial audition, was previously taped earlier this year. This is Wells’ second go at the program. She previously auditioned but did not progress. Christina is a well-known member and performer in Houston’s LGBTQ community.

Wells’ performance started off as a nail-biter, with judges noted that she was a bit off-key at the beginning of her song. Although she sounded fine to all of us, and apparently found her vocal footing within a few short bars. The judges commended Wells, who is a full-time registered nurse in Houston. Guest judge, comedian, and actor, Ken Jeong, telling Christina, “[…] my wife told me, ‘You’re no longer a doctor. You’re a comedian.’ You’re no longer a nurse, you’re a singer […] an artist.”

Just before the judges made their decision, Christina weepily told the camera that she never thought she would make it this far, and that she did not want it to end. Luckily, when the time came, Simon Cowell told Christina, “Today, I’m going to be honest with you […] this wasn’t better from the first audition. We had to make decisions based on who do we think could really do well in the live show.” After a brief and histrionic pause, Cowell continued, “And that’s why, Christina, we have decided to put you through to the live shows.” Christina immediately erupted in tears before saying, “I thought you were going to tell me no!” Mel B. jumped to her feet and rushed on stage to hug Wells.