Ever since the LMT took occupancy of 33 North Fort Harrison, Ottavio's Place has welcomed us with open arms. Ottavio's Place is a great Italian restaurant three doors north of us at 45 N. Fort Harrison Avenue. Even before we moved into our building, during the December picket, the maitre d' introduced himself to Bob and me as we were picketing and invited us to have dinner. The night of the candlelight vigil Ottavio's hosted more than forty critics, including Lisa's family.
On the day Bob closed on the building, Ottavio's sent over a bottle of wine and bruschetta, duly reported on, although he didn't name the restaurant, by Tom Tobin in the St. Pete Times. The Church of Scientology sent one of their people into Ottavio's the next day to warn the restaurant not to do business with us, but Ottavio's staunchly refused to bow to the C of S threats.
This afternoon I found out that all Scientologists, staff and public, have been ordered to boycott Ottavio's Restaurant because Ottavio's has been supportive of the LMT.
Ottavio's got the word from another local business owner, who was told in confidence by a public Scientologist. Apparently this Scientologist was trying to spread the boycott beyond Scientologists by drawing in other Clearwater residents to participate in the boycott. Clearly, the intent is to drive Ottavio's out of business as punishment for not complying with C of S orders.
Mark, Grady and I are going to have our Valentine's Day dinner at Ottavio's tonight. If there are any others, Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, in the Clearwater area who are reading this post, please consider Ottavio's when you plan to go out for dinner. Not only do they have delicious food, but they are also courageous people who are refusing to allow the Church of Scientology to bully them. They deserve the support of the entire community.