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MOUTHING OFF

They're out: If you're wondering about the picketers in front of Greens restaurant, at 1469 South Pearl Street, last week, here's the scoop: Taylor St. John and Madrid St. Angelo, a gay couple charged in the January 1993 Mt. Olivet cemetery desecration incident (they cut a deal with the Jeffco DA's office this spring that included an apology to the community), have filed complaints against Greens with Denver's anti-discrimination office. They allege that they were subjected to homophobic treatment during their eight-month tenure as staffers at the restaurant, and they accuse Greens' owners--Michael and Clare Nolting and Hugh O'Neil--of firing them because they are gay and HIV-positive.

"They fired Taylor because they were `uncomfortable' with him around," St. Angelo says. "They wouldn't give him a reason, and they just kept saying, `We're just not comfortable with the situation.'"

St. Angelo says the situation is simply that he and St. John are highly visible members of the gay community. "Clare had made jokes about AIDS to my face before, and we've noticed that the Noltings are very concerned with appearances. They couldn't handle the knowledge that we are HIV-positive."

Not so, says Michael Nolting. "My wife, Clare, hired Madrid and Taylor knowing that they were gay, knowing that they were a couple, HIV-positive and facing charges in the cemetery thing. We have always had a policy of hiring a diverse group of people, and we still have staff members who are gay. How can we be accused of being homophobic?"

Nolting maintains that St. John was fired for "suspicious circumstances involving credit-card receipts," and that St. John was made aware of that when he was given the boot. "Madrid was fired because, understandably, his allegiances are to Taylor. I was hoping Madrid would quit after I fired Taylor, but he forced me to address the fact that they were a couple and Madrid was in an impossible situation."

But St. Angelo, who has asked the gay community to boycott the restaurant, feels slighted. "I want to be fired because my work was not up to par, some specific reason. Not because I'm half of a gay couple."

Ready to meat the future: The Boulder Harvest, the area's most venerable natural-foods restaurant, just got a Nineties update. In addition to adding a new patio, chef Mark Shockley has created a new menu that includes such unlikely goodies as the chicken-fried chicken and eggs ($6.25) for breakfast and even chicken-fried steak ($8.95) at dinner. Of course, the meat is all Coleman Natural Beef, "raised without steroids, hormones and antibiotics," and both chicken-fried items are actually hand-breaded and grilled, not fried.

Brew news: The Tabernash Brewing Company, maker of my favorite microbrew, Tabernash Weiss, has expanded its capacity--which means even more of the good stuff, including Golden Spike Lager and Denargo Lager. Pick some up at the brewery, 205 Denargo...The Institute for Brewing Studies in Boulder, a division of the Association of Brewers, has a new director, David Edgar, who's worked his way up through the ranks...And don't forget: This weekend is the LoDo BrewFest, where you can sample the wares of nearly forty local breweries. Call 698-HOPS for complete details.

 
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