On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to shut down recently re-opened restaurant outdoor seating because dining outside was a “most dangerous situation,” at a time when there’s a “serious health emergency.”
Indeed, Kuehl lectured at the meeting that the poor working stiffs, the servers, were especially vulnerable to COVID while waiting on customers sitting outside.
This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously. The servers are not protected from us, and they’re not protected from their other tables that they’re serving at that particular time, plus all the hours in which they’re working.
She mocked that “magical” protections aren’t enough to keep the staff safe, so the restaurants must be closed to dine-in customers.
It’s a bit of magical thinking on everyone’s part to think that at any restaurant anywhere that the server keeps a six foot distance from the table. I sadly, but strongly support moving our restaurants back to take out and delivery.
After the meeting, Kuehl packed up her belongings and then repaired to her favorite restaurant, Il Forno, near her West Hollywood home, where she dined outside in this “most dangerous situation” to beckon an unprotected manservant to bring her feast and grog.
EXCLUSIVE: Los Angeles County Supervisor @SheilaKuehl dined outside at Il Forno in Santa Monica…just hours after voting to ban outdoor dining & calling it "dangerous."
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) December 1, 2020
NBC Los Angeles reports that West Hollywood Councilman John D’Amico said that with the decision, Keuhl and two other supervisors helped lay off “tens of thousands of people, including many West Hollywood residents, based on junk science and a need to make it and a need to make it look like they’re doing something.”
“All of this one month before Christmas. To that I say `bah humbug. […] What they should be doing is opening up businesses for more hours, with strong operating regulations, careful code compliance efforts, smarter options for everyone — worker, resident, business owner alike. We don’t need to destroy this county to save it. We need to save it.”
The owner of a popular WeHo spot, The Abbey, told NBC that this latest shutdown was likely going to do him in.
On Wednesday, standing in front of his restaurant, The Abbey owner David Cooley fought back tears as he looked ahead, fearing the three-week dining ban could stretch into New Year’s Day, which “will probably put me out of business.” Cooley said he closed his business early in the pandemic but was able to reopen after making substantial investments in safety measures.
“We learned more about the virus and how to operate our business safely without contributing to its spread,” he said. “As the state and county constantly changed the safety protocols and regulations, we adopted to every one of them. And believe me it was extremely costly for small businesses to keep up with these guidelines.”
Pasadena Chamber of Commerce member Paul Little told NBC LA that outdoor dining has little, if anything, to do with increases in positive test results.
The current surge in COVID 19 cases is attributed to Halloween events, the Dodgers and Biden’s victory, not outdoor dining and restaurants, s[h]opping and retail stores or exercising? It makes no sense to penalize restaurants when they are not causing the surge in infection rates. Socially distanced and safe outdoor dining is exactly that: safe.
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said the higher numbers were due to people getting tested before seeing family and friends at Thanksgiving.
There is no sufficient data to show that outdoor dining has led to significant transmission. No other county has taken the step to close outdoor dining.
So to recap, on Tuesday, shortly after Kuehl made the decisive vote to kill LA restaurant business and the jobs they provide based on a “serious health emergency” or “junk science,” if you prefer, she went to a restaurant and ate outdoors.
L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who just voted to shut down outdoor dining in Los Angeles based on no scientific evidence or data, wraps herself in other people's virtue and laments that "disappointingly large swaths of this nation" disagree with her lockdown orders. pic.twitter.com/IVjA0wtM2o
— Susan Shelley (@Susan_Shelley) November 28, 2020
Then, as a statement by her office revealed, Kuehl bravely placed herself in the “most dangerous situation” – the world of outdoor dining – to have one last meal before her lockdown went into effect.
She did dine al fresco at Il Forno on the very last day it was permissible. She loves Il Forno, has been saddened to see it, like so many restaurants, suffer from a decline in revenue. She ate there, taking appropriate precautions and sadly will not dine there again until our Public Health Orders permit.
This week, a Redondo Beach restaurant owner defied the outdoor dining ban to stay in business and keep his employees paid through the holidays. He put up a new sign over his “Eat at Joes” logo. It reads “The French Laundry.” The real French Laundry restaurant in Napa was the scene of yet another double standard dinner by another elected official who didn’t heed his own rules.
People notice the double standard.
@SheilaKuehl voted to close outdoor dining for 30,000 restaurants in L.A., including mine. I’m told she dined out that very day. Why, if it was not safe? My business is in jeopardy because of this action, stricter than any in the state, despite LA ranking 15th in cases/100m pic.twitter.com/uYKwDNirnO
— Jennifer Febre (@jenfeb) December 1, 2020
They won’t forget.
Victoria Taft is the host of “The Adult in the Room Podcast With Victoria Taft” where you can hear her series on “Antifa Versus Mike Strickland.” Find it here. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, MeWe, Minds @VictoriaTaft