Southern California restaurants must close indoor meals for at least 3 weeks – Daily News


Faced with an increase in COVID-19 cases on the eve of a major holiday, California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered southern California counties to shut down indoor operations at restaurants, wineries and venues tasting for at least three weeks.

“This does not mean the closure of restaurants,” Newsom said at a noon press conference on Wednesday July 1. “It means we try to do as many activities as possible… and move them outside.”

  • Mike Ellis, co-owner of Riley’s on Second Street in Long Beach on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Ellis learned that restaurants will have to go into seclusion to dine on duty for the next three weeks and his mind immediately turned to his employees, patrons and community. Obviously disappointed with the setback, Ellis said: “It’s like we’re backing off and it’s beyond me.” He added: “The government has an obligation to keep us safe and healthy, but I assumed they would be better prepared for the spikes following the reopening.” The restaurant will continue dining on the patio, but this only allows 18 diners due to social distancing. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Staff at George’s Greek Cafe on Second Street had four patrons when they learned that the restaurants inside were forced to retreat for the next three weeks, in Long Beach on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. They allowed patrons to finish their meals and immediately returned to take out and terrace meals only. Manager David Ramirez said, “I hope customers will see that we take ordering and their safety seriously and continue to frequent our establishment. Owner Nicky Lozides Claire said, “We want customers to feel safe and enjoy their dining experience with us.” (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • LR Taj Travis and Christina Thurman having dinner on the patio of Saint & Second in Long Beach on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The couple have a newborn baby at home and haven’t ventured out much, but today is Travis’ birthday they wanted to celebrate. Their first outing could be the last in some time, as restaurant-dining establishments are now closing for at least the next three weeks due to the increase in coronavirus cases. Thurman said: “I think we reopened too early and if we had stayed closed overall it would have been shorter.” (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

The governor’s orders affect 19 counties on the state’s watch list, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino.

Newsom called the control a “dimmer, no on / off switch.” It is also affecting indoor theaters, family entertainment venues, zoos, museums and game rooms, which will also be closed for at least three weeks. Newsom also ordered the bars to close.

State beaches will be closed in counties that have closed their local beaches, he said, and all parking lots on state beaches in Southern California will be closed for vacations.

Closing indoor restaurants is “certainly not ideal,” according to Chris Simms, founder of Lazy Dog Restaurant, which has more than a dozen locations in Southern California. In a phone interview, he said he understood the need to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, but that closing dining rooms would hurt the restaurant industry.

“It’s going to be hard. I know a lot of restaurateurs who have barely survived the last closures. And I know a lot of restaurants that don’t have a terrace. It will be a big blow that will put more people out of business. “

Lazy Dog remained open for pickup and delivery throughout the shutdown and reopened its dining halls as soon as it got clearance from cities and counties. Simms said he saw a rebound in sales in the few weeks the dining rooms were open. He said he can overcome this setback.

“We have large decks, so we can’t wait for everyone to join us on our decks. It is so important that any restaurant that stays open has good, solid seating protocols.

Restaurants meeting standards, a 70-year-old restaurant chain based in Bellflower, has only three sites with patios, according to general manager Mike Colonna. But it’s about lining up tents and outdoor tables on the fly.

In a telephone interview, Colonna said that because inspections revealed other restaurants were not meeting COVID-19 guidelines, he was not surprised the governor took action. But he was surprised at the suddenness.

“I thought maybe they would do more inspections, and I thought they would increase the consequences.”

He said Wednesday’s announcement was a replay of the initial shutdown in mid-March, which was aimed at shutting down the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the same way that this action is aimed at calming Independence Day.

“It came on a day’s notice, and it’s a day’s notice. And it’s really hard in this business.

“Short notice is really difficult and places a huge burden on any business. Companies like to plan 60, 90 day, one year, 3-5 year business plans. This chaos has been extremely difficult for us.

California has encouraged cities to expand outdoor dining, but many of these efforts are still in their infancy.

Some towns in Southern California, often with quaint Old Town neighborhoods, have taken steps to allow restaurants to open temporary outdoor dining areas on sidewalks, in parking lots, or even on the streets.

They include La Verne, Pomona, and Sierra Madre in Los Angeles County; Irvine and Newport Beach in Orange County; Moreno Valley, Riverside and Temecula in Riverside County; and Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernardino County.

California began allowing counties to reopen dining rooms at socially distanced restaurants on Memorial Day weekend. Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties immediately qualified, followed by Los Angeles County a few days later.

But over the next few weeks, there were reports of companies failing to adhere to state safety guidelines.

The state allowed bars to reopen on June 15, but on Monday the governor ordered Los Angeles County and six other counties to close them. Riverside County join the command and closed its bars and tasting rooms on Tuesday. Orange County will close its bars at midnight.

San Bernardino County has plans to close its bars on Friday, on July 3, if the coronavirus data did not improve, but Newsom ordered all bars closed during Wednesday’s press conference.

The month of June saw an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths linked to COVID-19.

The governor encouraged voluntary compliance with security measures and encouraged people to avoid large crowds.

“We recognize that the whole app in this space is really about the people doing the right thing, which is the default for 99.9% of us,” he said.

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