Gay couple sells restaurant after enduring years of torture from MAGA neighbors
Author: Greg Owen
Gay restaurant owners William Waybourn and Craig Spaulding have hung up their aprons.
“In the end, the decision was easier to make than I expected,” Waybourn told The Washington Post, which detailed the years-long feud — instigated by the Washers not long after they moved into the neighboring property — last July.
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News of the Christian couple’s dirty tricks and clinical obsession with making their neighbors’ lives miserable brought Waybourne and his husband support from around the world.
“On some level, I know I am disappointing many people, especially those who have stood by us these past three years, many of whom I have never met from places I’ve never heard of,” Waybourn explained.
But he said he knows that for his own health and well-being, and for his adopted town’s, he needed to step away from the toxic environment that the MAGA-loving Washers had created.
For the longtime gay rights activist, who proudly flew a rainbow flag from the restaurant’s porch since it opened, there was no compromising with people who planted a rat by his back door and then shared a picture of it with the local health department. Incessant complaints over garbage, deliveries, parking, noise, Covid mandates, permitting, no-trespassing orders on both sides, and a lawsuit followed.
Restaurant employees reported Mike Washer had called the owners “f****ts”.
The Washers were MAGA bullies, and there was no stopping them.
Last summer, Waybourn was knocked back with a mild stroke, revealing the toll the Washers’ campaign was exacting.
For a few months after that, things quieted down.
But in November, after the Washers’ son was elected to the Board of Supervisors, a fresh round of harassment came The Front Porch’s way. The restaurant’s so-called Christian MAGA oppressors were relentless.
“My presence became so personal with the Washers that removing myself would give the new owner and the restaurant a fresh start,” Waybourn concluded.
The couple sold the Front Porch at the end of December.
Waybourn describes the restaurant’s new owner, chef and restaurateur Shawn Malone, as “very laid-back.”
Malone has a five-year lease on the building from Waybourn and Spaulding, with an option to buy. Plans are for the new business to open in February under the name Bistro at the Porch.
Waybourn hopes Malone can set the restaurant — and the relationship with his neighbors — on a new course. “I don’t think he’s going to personalize the Washers’ antics as much as I have.”
“I just can’t continue to have the emotional turmoil of owning a business that I can’t enjoy,” Waybourn said.
Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: Greg Owen