Readers react: a divisive vegan return and a limp DeSantis condemnation


She is indeed back ("Former Sanctum owner Chelsie DiPaolo takes over old Winter Park home of Marlow's Tavern," Feb. 1). The tone-deaf placard outside the former Marlow's Tavern in Winter Park — trumpeting "She's back ... xoxo" — signals the return of Chelsie DiPaolo to the local restaurant scene. DiPaolo ran two vegan restaurants with her ex-husband, Jamie Savage, until multiple harassment claims by employees unveiled alleged misdeeds by Savage. DiPaolo filed for divorce in the months that followed, and both restaurants eventually ceased operations. DiPaolo has since alleged that her marriage was abusive in posts to Instagram. Reactions were strong all around.

@Francesca Fey The fact that Chelsie posted the sign, "She's back XOXO," is terribly insensitive. Her former employees claim that she knew about the sexual harassment/acts performed by her husband at the time and she turned a blind eye to their cries for help. Ignoring her employees' pleas and dismissing them makes her as bad as he was. Her name is tarnished with or without the last name Savage. If she wants to rebuild herself, joking about coming back into the restaurant biz is not the way to go. All of Orlando knows what she did, or rather, what she didn't do, which was protect her employees.

@Bex Martin She has still issued no apologies, and even shows up at the workplace of one of her victims and discusses the allegations around her and her co-workers. I wanted to believe that she has changed — but tormenting a victim in her workplace (where she cannot escape), proves to me that she's the same ol' Chelsie. I haven't signed an NDA, but some of the victims have. It's all really gross, and this sign is a huge slap in the face to the victims (myself included). I had to schedule an emergency therapy session for myself when this all came to light. Some of the girls are still suffering from night terrors related to the abuse. The sign is in very poor taste.

@Jeremy Mall So grateful! The best high vibe food in Orlando! Can't wait!

@Ashley Gallardo Steiner The food at her restaurants were consistently delicious! I can't wait for it to open.

@Ram Pajarillaga That sign is extremely immature and inappropriate. I definitely will not visit whatever concept she opens there.

Poor Gov. Ron DeSantis, never at a loss for words when it comes to riffing on how Dr. Fauci sucks, etc., couldn't seem to string together more than a couple of words to condemn the actual Neo-Nazis who recently held a rally in the city a couple of weekends ago, complete with swastikas aplenty and "88" (code for "Heil Hitler") scrawled on signs and banners. As far as local officials go, Sheriff John Mina has charged three of the fascist jackasses who assaulted a Jewish motorist who got out of his car to talk to them.

@Amanda Lowrey Reseburg I can't believe that idiot has the audacity to have a sign that reads "defend our homeland." Funny, he doesn't look Native American. I could be wrong, though.

@Chris Mennens Why do they always flex white pride and power in areas that are basically already full of white homeowners? Please try to convert and spread your message in the John Young, Pine Hills and OBT areas of Orlando so you can reach a larger audience and let them know. I'm sure people who live there would love to know more about your peaceful message of white inequality.

@Liz Miller Q: If it is so hard for Ron DeSantis to condemn Nazi behavior in Florida, what does it say about him? A: It says that he knows who his hard-core voter base is.

@Harry Moore My grandpa fought real Nazis. Although easy to dislike, these are more like Nazi cosplay.

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