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Not Even Sheltering-in-Place Can Stop Los Angeles From Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

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Plus, MTN’s new pop-up, a Long Beach staple closes permanently, and the Troubadour’s troubles

Bar at Casa Vega, lit up with string lights.
Casa Vega bar
Wonho Frank Lee
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.

Traditionally one of the busiest days for Mexican restaurants throughout the Southland, Cinco de Mayo was a bit somber this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But that didn’t stop locals from getting their favorite enchiladas, beer, and margaritas to-go. On Twitter, a user snapped a photo of 28 cars patiently waiting in line at Pepe’s in Alhambra. Over in Sherman Oaks, the classic Casa Vega had at least 30 cars, according to an Instagrammer.

In other news:

—West Hollywood’s legendary Troubadour is in financial trouble, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 60-year-old venue which launched the careers of Linda Rondstadt, the Eagles, and Elton John will be some of California’s last businesses to re-open, under Governor Gavin Newsom’s phased reopening. Troubador’s management launched a GoFundMe page to help pay employees.

Live Music Venues Remain Closed In Los Angeles Due To Restrictive Coronavirus Measures Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

—Today at noon, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission will host a webinar about the future Restaurant Beverage Program. The program is designed to reduce delays and permit costs. There’s Q&A from actual LA officials as well. Register here.

—MTN chefs Juan Hernandez and Pedro Aquino launched a Oaxacan pop-up today called Valle, according to the Los Angeles Times. It all takes place inside MTN with tacos, nopales salad, and a $45 whole bone-in full chicken with rice, beans, tortillas, and salsas.

—After more than 20 years, Long Beach’s prominent Rock Bottom Brewery will close permanently.

The Power of 10, a restaurant industry non-profit aiming to bring restaurant workers back to work and provide access to food, expanded its reach to include 30 prominent restaurants nationwide thanks to a sponsorship from Capital One, including LA’s own Guelaguetza.

—A handful of openings and re-openings are underway. Goldburger announced a new pop-up in Highland Park Thursday through Sunday. Idle Hour Bar opened last Friday with a limited food AND cocktail menu.