California Governor Gavin Newsom has been slammed for attending an event at a restaurant while indoor dining remains banned across most of the state.
Newsom claims he did not dine while visiting with the owners of the Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant, who received a relief grant – despite a TikTok video filmed of the event appearing to show a table full of drinks.
‘California is the only state where indoor dining is banned. Industry gutted. It’s an explosive topic,’ Gruel said on Saturday.
He continued: ‘Newsom holds an event INSIDE a restaurant, posts video, and group is “dining/drinking” (see pic) – people are actually saying this is OK? If it’s ok for them then open it all up.’
In Newsom’s video, comedian George Lopez asks the governor how residents can find their COVID-19 vaccination eligibility.
‘It’s wonderful to be of service, George,’ Newsom says in the video after Lopez thanks him for the information.
It was not immediately clear why Lopez was with Newsom inside the restaurant.
Scroll down for video
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, has been criticized after posting a video to TikTok in which comedian George Lopez asks a him how residents can find their vaccination eligibility
In another video, George Lopez endorsed the restaurant’s food while Newsom watches in the background
Chef Andrew Gruel slammed the governor on Twitter for allegedly dining inside the restaurant
In a photo posted to Twitter, Chef Andrew Gruel alleges Gavin Newsom was inside the restaurant dining
In another video posted to the Los Amigos page on Facebook, Newsom is seen in the background while Lopez endorses the Mexican restaurant’s food.
Gruel, who has previously criticized the governor for lockdown restrictions, called on Newsom to resign ‘ASAP’ and slammed the governor for the ‘cringe-worthy’ bit.
‘This is a slap in the face to every restaurant worker. Every citizen,’ Gruel said.
He added: ‘If restaurants can’t be open indoors, they shouldn’t be indoors. It’s that simple. It’s a horrible message at best, but by his standards, rules broken. We can’t even hold employee meetings inside.’
‘I don’t care if he was in there taking a nap, it’s bulls**t. Of all the places to do this. And don’t tell me they didn’t eat or drink. You know damn well they did,’ Gruel said.
Fresno is in the state’s purple tier for coronavirus restrictions, which carries the most extensive closures – only allowing restaurants to provide outdoor dining with modifications.
Gruel came under fire last year when he said he would keep his restaurants Slapfish and Big Parm open despite Newsom ordering outdoor dining to close in the state, The Sun reported.
‘I’ve got everybody blowing up my replies saying I’m a grandmother killer so I’m just going to address it all right here,’ Gruel said at the start of the video, which he posted to Twitter in December.
‘Here’s the situation – do we take the pandemic seriously? Of course we do! Am I saying we shouldn’t close outdoor dining? Yes, I am.’
KTTV exclusively obtained photos of Gavin Newsom dining inside the ritzy French Laundry restaurant in November
Gruel, who has appeared on multiple Food Network shows, said that restaurant owners spent money into meeting demands from politicians throughout the pandemic and repeatedly faced shut downs.
‘We shut down indoor dining – no problem. I got a warehouse full of Plexiglas right now. We went outdoors. Now that’s getting shut down,’ Gruel said in December.
‘I just put thousands of dollars into outdoor heaters.’
In November, Newsom was caught dining indoors at the ritzy French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California one night for the birthday of lobbyist Jason Kinney when indoor dining was not allowed.
A witness who took photos told KTTV that Newsom’s group was so loud that the restaurant had to close its sliding doors.
Newsom later called it ‘a mistake’ after receiving backlash for violating his own restrictions, Fox News reported.
‘I should have stood up and … drove back to my house,’ Newsom said, according to the outlet.
‘The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted.’
He added: ‘I need to preach and practice, not just preach.’
California residents have since launched efforts to recall the governor that appears to be gaining steam.
Recall effort organizers need to collect at least 1.5 million signatures by March 17 to get a recall on the ballot – but have collected more than 1.8 million signatures, Fox News reported.