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Two Men Settle Out of Court After Alleged Sexual Harassment by SoCal Hooters Manager

Plus, a whiskey tasting and dinner, Secret Lasagna in Chinatown, and a 12-cent burger

Hooters restaurant facade.
QualityHD via Shutterstock
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Settlement at Hooters

On July 16, Hooters attorneys filed paperwork in the Los Angeles Superior Court detailing a settlement between the company and a former employee named Scott Peterson. Peterson was one of two men who allege they were sexually harassed by a male manager while working at the Costa Mesa Hooters. The second plaintiff, Paul “PJ” Cagnina also received a settlement this past May.

Cagnina’s lawsuit was filed in March 2016, where both men sought unspecified damages, a court order which instructed Hooters to stop permitting sexual harassment, and to cease retaliation at the work site. According to NBC-4, Peterson accused this manager of touching him inappropriately, and speaking about him in a sexual manner during meeting with employees and management. Peterson’s lawsuit details how the same supervisor allegedly sent photos of a female co-worker. In Cagnina’s case, he alleged that his superior “threw Mr. Cagnina down to the parking lot’’ and simulated a sex act with the plaintiff after a bikini contest.

Secret Lasagna at General Lee’s

Right now, the Secret Lasagna crew is preparing mini-trays of lasagna, which they’ll serve at Chinatown’s General Lee’s from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. tonight. They’ve only prepared 250 and will likely sell-out. The best strategy is to pre-order by sending a DM to Secret Lasagna on Instagram.

Why it’s so expensive to own and operate a restaurant in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times digs deep into the high costs of running a restaurant in Los Angeles. The story covers rising minimum wage costs, tip models, and diners choosing to eat at home. Reporter Jenn Harris spoke with notable Southern California restaurant owners including Brooke Williamson, Nyesha Arrington, Mrs Chi’s Shirley Chung, and Casa Vega’s Christy Vega for perspective.

Is gentrification making West Hollywood less gay?

LAist took a look at the present changes occurring in West Hollywood. The piece explores the complex shifts in one of LA’s most historic gay neighborhoods, which includes gentrification, LGBTQ online communities, plus a recent expansion of new liquor licenses for restaurants and bars.

A neon lit bar in West Hollywood, California
The Abbey in West Hollywood
The Abbey

Smashburger’s 12-cent anniversary burger

Today marks 12-years for the Denver-based operation, Smashburger. To celebrate the milestone, the massive chain will serve double Smashburgers for just 12 cents. The mega chain has six Southern California locations, including ones in Culver City, Pasadena, and Universal CityWalk.

Final days for Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ in Pasadena

East Pasadena’s beloved Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ closes this Sunday, according to the Pasadena Star News. The all-day eatery operated for 37 years, but owner Robin Salzer says he is in negotiations with a local family that will take over and start a brand new restaurant.

Michael Cimarusti and whiskey

This coming Tuesday, Providence chef Michael Cimarusti will host a special whiskey dinner with a well-versed booze crew, including Providence bar director Kim Stodel, and Dan McKee, a master whiskey distiller from Michter’s. It’s five courses paired with rare whiskeys from Michter’s. The $220 per person dinner includes everything but tax and gratuity. It’s an intimate gathering, with no more than 16 guests. Make reservations at (323) 460-4170.