From the tipline: "Had an odd encounter this past weekend with the valet parking in front of Baby Blues BBQ on Santa Monica Blvd in WeHo. We showed up around 10 PM and there were two metered spaces right in front of the restaurant. A car was parked in one of them, and we pulled into the other one, but then saw that the spaces were zoned for valet loading in the evening hours. Okay, fine. We waited a couple of minutes but no attendants came out. Finally we just parked in the space and got out, at which time a valet attendant ran up to us and told us we couldn't park there because it was valet-only. I said, 'OK, we didn't know that because no one came out," and handed him my keys -- but the guy wouldn't take them. He said if we wanted to valet, we had to pull a half-block ahead and around the corner into the parking lot. When I balked at that, he said we could also just pay him the $6 valet fee to park in the space we were already in.
Not wanting to argue any further, we paid him, took the meaningless valet ticket, and walked away. My question would be: Is this even legal? An establishment gets two municipal parking spaces zoned for loading-only, then proceeds not to use them for valet loading, but still won't let customers use them as metered spaces? Sort of makes me wonder if it's the same situation that was reported last year , and those spaces aren't actually legally zoned that way. At the very least it's a pretty strange practice, and one I hope doesn't continue." Anyone? [Eater Inbox]