Outdoor Dining Shutdown in Parts of California

By Sophie Gayot

Los Angeles, December 7, 2020

As outdoor dining has been halted in LA County since November 26, 2020, Friday I headed to Heroic Italian in Santa Monica, California, to pick up my order. Owner Jeffrey Merrihue was holding down the fort with a few of his team — he had to lay off half of his employees after Thanksgiving.

> Watch my exclusive video interview with restaurateur Jeffrey Merrihue, who I am pretty sure speaks for many chefs and restaurateurs.

Merrihue and I discussed the restaurant crisis created by the pandemic. He was ranting about the closure of patio dining, with the hope that it could and should reopen soon.

Very unfortunately, the next day the situation deteriorated. New stay at home orders were announced for 11 California counties starting on December 6th at 11:59 p.m. for at least three weeks. They include outdoor dining shut down. Even some areas, like Pasadena and Orange County, where until then restaurants were still able to serve diners on their patios, are now impacted. This is a tragedy for so many. At present, the only way to support restaurants is to order for takeout or delivery. Let us pray that the vaccine brings a much-needed relief the soonest possible.

Please, wear a mask and practice social distancing,