UPDATE: Penovich added the following statement on our social media concerning our coverage.

“@orlandobungalower this is Joe Penovich owner of Grills Restaurants. Thank you for the post. (The actual letter to my employees may help clarify some things). I do believe in God and as a follower of Jesus Christ I believe we can hear that still small Voice. That divide amongst many of your readers is way more important than a shot or not. But I realize the religion of Christianity has often been very politicized and very wrong and so I sympathize. But please consider that the wisdom of the world to solve its mounting problems sure seems to be failing. That is really the Bible narrative and the message of Jesus Christ. If we take God out of this equation, and what I believe He told me personally, we still have arrived at a pivotal time in history. Efficacy of this vaccine to stop spread is very debatable. For me as an employer of 400+ people, to be required to fire someone because they chose (whether by faith or fear of the government) to reject putting something into their body is a staggering overreach that everyone of us should be praying about. Thank you and God Bless.”


Joe Penovich, the owner of Grills Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar and its subsequent sister properties, including Grills Lakeside Orlando (Website) at 4301 N. Orange Blossom Trail [GMap], took to social media this week to share his belief that God told him not to get vaccinated.

Penovich shared a memo that he had given to his employees, stating that he had come to the decision while on an “intentional sabbatical of prayer” during the pandemic and that he would not be requiring any of his staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

You can read the full statement below.

Penovich went on to say “Many of our employees are vaccinated, many have chosen not to be. God directed my personal decision about this. I believe it is my God-given responsibility as the owner of this business, to allow my employees that choice as well.”

The statement comes as a response to President Joe Biden’s recent mandate that requires all employers across the country that have more than 100 workers, require to have those employees vaccinated or be tested for the virus weekly.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of Bungalower.com

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  1. Yeah don’t believe that shit I got fired December 3rd cuz my kid had covid his employee that like family to him if that was the case I would have never been fired

  2. I am no Biden supporter. However considering your statement in its entirety I no longer feel safe at your establishments.

  3. We were fans of Grills until I found out about this dumb BS. God told you to keep spreading the virus. God told me to stop going to Grills.

  4. WELL DONE, Joe! Standing up for your employee’s Freedom to choose is why America is still the greatest nation on the planet.
    God Bless America an God Bless Grills.

  5. I hope God told him to at least get his employees tested weekly…pull them off the floor till negative…and pay their full salary. God doesnt want us passing illness to others that could potentially take their life.

  6. I respect your decision as it is your right. As it is also my right to protect my family, friends and myself, by keeping our distance from your establishment till this God giving test to humanity selfishness come to end. I pray for you, your employees and customers. Good luck

  7. Does he also have a transcript of his conversation with *his* christocracy god? Has he been booked on Faux News yet?

  8. God bless you mightily for standing up for God. May you business and you and your family be blessed with a double portin of HIS FAVOR

  9. Just another idiot that’s putting people’s lives at risk over their political beliefs. Most of their food is frozen seafood anyways. Not gonna miss it there.

  10. My favorite place! I especially enjoy the outdoor dinning! What a view! Great food and service! I am now going to tell everyone about this place! I hope more companies stand for their religious convictions and rights!

  11. – there is no god. Ive been a frequent customer. Not anymore…” god told ya ? Too bad God didnt tell you he was ginna squish 150 people ( infants, seniors , etc) like mosquitoes in a building miami a few month back. How come god never “ comes to someone “ to WARN people …. God … yuck

  12. I know for a fact God NEVER told him not to get the vaccine. Why? Because God told ME to get the vaccine and I did.