New Orleans Restaurant Mona Lisa Puts Up New Sign With “Texan Surcharge” For Not Wearing A Mask

Known for its delicious pasta and the countless Mona Lisa portraits that adorn its walls, Mona Lisa, a popular Italian restaurant in the French Quarter, has drawn attention throughout the pandemic for its hilarious signs. 

Recently they put one up that read, “Announcing Our NEW Texan Surcharge: $50 if I HAVE to explain that masks are mandatory. $75 if I HAVE to HEAR WHY you DISAGREE. See y’all at 5 PM.” 

Farrow Stephenson, who co-owns Mona Lisa and is the mastermind behind the signs, explained, “I put a sign up every day. It started almost a year ago when the city shut down I just started putting up signs and everyone was commenting on them so I decided I’m just going to keep doing this until the pandemic is over.” 

This particular “Texan Surcharge” sign, which has earned plenty of laughs and social media attention, was inspired by a woman “who just refused to wear her mask. She was walking around and I kept saying, “You’ve got to put your mask on.” and she felt the need to talk to me about it. She said, “I’m the nicest person you’ll ever meet” as she’s flipping me off. Then she said, “You don’t understand I’m from Texas and I don’t need to wear a mask.” 

He explained to her that since she was in Louisiana she has to wear one because it’s the law here. She responded, “Oh so you just follow the law blindly?”

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve all had experiences where we went to a restaurant or store and witnessed someone who refused to wear a mask or did that confusingly pointless thing where they wear it under their nose. With the lifting of mask mandates in neighboring states, people have recently been resisting wearing masks even more. 

Farrow explained that  “Ever since the Texas mandate has been lifted and they don’t have to wear masks anymore there has been a lot more resistance when people come to the door not having masks on and they are usually from out-of-state. Regular people who live here, they just wear them because they know we are supposed to. These people feel the need to prove to us that they’re from a better place. And they have the answers, and they are going to explain to us why we are so backward for still wearing masks.”


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