Los Angeles County closed outdoor restaurants on Nov. 25 for three weeks in response to the rise in coronavirus cases, but a restaurant owner in Redondo Beach said he was not closing a store.
The courtyards at Eat at Joe’s, a 1969 “South Bay landmark,” were filled Monday afternoon with clients supporting the relocation.
“I think this whole thing is a parody,” said client Terry Kane. “It kills small businesses, small restaurants, it kills employees. They have no other way to make money. There is no incentive. There is no relief from California for restaurants.”
A banner hanging in front of the long diner reads “The French Laundry Patio Dining”
Eat at Joe’s owner Alex Jordan says Newsom’s fine dinner was “completely hypocritical.” He said the move “put him on edge”, prompting him to hang a “French Laundry” banner in front of Joe.
“If he’s good enough for Gavin News, he’s good enough for all my clients,” Jordan said.
And the move to keep the restaurant open is to “keep my employees at this difficult time of year,” he added.
Conan Nolan of NBC4 spoke with Los Angeles restaurateur Caroline Stein with the Independent Restaurant Coalition about how the latest ban on outdoor eating has had a serious impact on the restaurant business, even if only for three weeks. Many restaurants are barely succeeding and many will not return, Stein said. Are they being unfairly targeted?
He said he thought it was “somewhat unfair”, saying his business and employees had complied with the rules and regulations regarding temperature checks, social distancing and masks, but “they [LA County] keep moving the goal line back and forth. ”
During last week’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors, district health officials said they agreed with the targeted introduction of restaurants, but there are 31,000 restaurants in the county and there are enough inspectors to visit about 1% of them a week.
If the Los Angeles County Department of Health completely closes its restaurant, he says, “I wouldn’t be in a worse position than I would have been if I had just never stayed open. We’ll stay open as long as we can.”
On Sunday, the county reported another 5,014 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 16 additional deaths, resulting in a total of 395,843 cases and 7,639 deaths.
Even more worrying was the continuing rise in hospitalizations, which reached 2049 on Sunday, reaching its highest point since the summer.
City News Service contributed to this report.