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11 SoCal Counties Now Closed For All On-Site Dining at Least Through Christmas

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Plus, more news from Bub & Grandma’s, the LA Times upcoming 101 list and yes, more pizza

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An empty restaurant in Orange County
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Here we go again. After a startling surge in coronavirus cases (including north of 10,500 cases reported just on Sunday) Los Angeles and all surrounding counties are now once again under some of the strictest lockdown orders in the country. The news has been projected for weeks, but formally went into effect at midnight last night, meaning that from now through at least past Christmas, people are to (mostly) stay in their homes, gatherings of any kind are banned, and more.

On the restaurant front, the new regional stay-at-home order supersedes any localized order from, say, the Pasadena Department of Public Health, unifying rules that force restaurants to close for all on-site dining for at least the next three weeks, though takeout and delivery is still available. The news affects restaurants in Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and other nearby counties. And while some restaurants and industry associations have been fighting back, even staying open and threatening their operating permits in the process, the vast majority are complying with the decision, meaning they’ll almost certainly be laying off staff and losing thousands of dollars spent on building COVID-19-safe outdoor facilities.

It’s a heavy day in greater Los Angeles, as coronavirus deaths statewide race towards the gruesome 20,000 people mark. Without federal financial intervention, the implementation of a vaccine in the coming months, and some assistance with the debt and back rent owed by so many, it seems a new peak for the long-discussed “extinction event” for restaurants is, this time, right around the corner.

In other news:

  • The LA Times is releasing its annual 101 restaurants list tonight at 5 p.m. online (and this week in print), as compiled by co-critics Patricia Escárcega and Bill Addison, though the latter notes in a preamble post that “it couldn’t be a bleaker moment to release this year’s 101 list.”
  • Staple Los Feliz spot Alcove is closed for now, though they continue to sell online take-home cocktail kits to try to stay alive as long as possible.
  • Restaurant workers are facing an uphill battle in Southern California right now, reports CBS2 LA, struggling to make ends meet as a result of the new lockdown orders — and right in the thick of the holiday season.
  • Bub and Grandma’s is back at Proof Bakery in Atwater Village, selling goods weekly on Mondays through at least December.
  • Beverly Hills pizzeria Upper Crust is expanding to a new spot in Downtown Culver City, though they have yet to formally announce the address or an opening date.

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