A group of unvaccinated individuals was arrested after a "sit-in" in a New York Cheesecake Factory, police said Wednesday.

Six demonstrators were arrested Tuesday evening at a New York City Cheesecake Factory after a group of at least 30 people who were reportedly not vaccinated or wearing masks attempted a sit-in, the New York Police Department confirmed to the Washington Examiner.

"The manager is asking you to leave; that's their decision," one police officer told the collective of men sitting in the restaurant, according to a purported video of the encounter shared on Twitter. "If you guys refuse to leave, we're going to give you every opportunity to leave, but if you eventually refuse to leave when we tell you to leave, we will be arresting you."


After a large group of people, estimated to be more than 30, entered the Cheesecake Factory at Queens Center in New York, an employee asked for proof of vaccination, according to the NYPD. The group refused to comply and then refused to leave the site before police responded to a 911 call about the men at approximately 7 p.m., officials said.

"Officers gave several lawful orders to the group to leave the location, which they refused," the NYPD told the Washington Examiner. "Six protesters were placed under arrest without any further incident at 9:45 p.m. after refusing to comply to a lawful order."

“This was an unfortunate incident. The company is simply complying with the local ordinance concerning COVID-19 vaccine requirements," Alethea Rowe, senior director of public relations for the Cheesecake Factory, told the Washington Examiner. "We would like to thank our restaurant managers and staff for remaining focused on providing our guests with delicious, memorable food, and would like to thank local law enforcement for their support during this time.”

Footage posted to Twitter showed the demonstrators telling police that they were not trespassing on-site and that the arrests would be illegitimate. In one clip, the protesters seemingly compared the police to "Nazis" and described the actions as "segregation" and "discrimination.

"Let them go!" one group chanted on tape as the police escorted the arrested out to their vehicles.


It remains unclear who helped organize the sit-in, but there are claims that the group will attempt to protest at the Cheesecake Factory again Wednesday night. The Washington Examiner could not verify plans of a future demonstration.