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Los Angeles Has Been Fining Restaurants For Posting ‘We’re Open’ Signs During Pandemic

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Plus, a Postmates driver gets harassed, al fresco dining in San Pedro, and Black food sovereignty

US-HEALTH-VIRUS Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

During a pandemic where restaurants are struggling to stay open, the City of Los Angeles has been penalizing restaurants and businesses for posting vinyl banners and signs stating they’re open for business.

According to NBC-4 Los Angeles, the owner of Studio City’s Crave Cafe received a notice from the Department of Building and Safety, which ordered Rana Shalhoub to remove the banner and tacked on a $356 fine. Shalhoub received no warning and removed her sign which said “open for takeout and delivery.” Several neighboring businesses received similar notices and fines, including Trader Joe’s and a hair salon.

Since mid-March, restaurants have been hit particularly hard due to the stay-at-home order and closed dining rooms. With frequently changing guidelines around reopening, owners must resort to new tactics to remind customers they are open for business.

The Department of Building and Safety requires businesses to apply for a permit to display signs and banners. The businesses must pay $356 fine in the next 30 days, or it will increase to $1,176.

In other news:

—In Westwood, a Postmates delivery worker was harassed as a woman — now dubbed as Westwood Karen — blocked Jordan Mykel Gipson from entering the building to deliver food. Gipson recorded the viral incident on his phone, and Fox-11 interviewed the 22-year-old driver.

TimeOut LA reports that L.A. County inspectors will start ticketing restaurants between $100 and $500 for not following coronavirus-guidelines including mask and distance rules.

—The Glendale City Council on Tuesday approved hefty fines for those who do not comply with the city’s public order to wear face coverings, according to KTLA-5. The fines appear to be Southern California’s steepest, starting at an initial $400 fine, the second offense nets a $1,000 fine, and $2,000 for a third.

—The Daily Breeze reports new construction for outdoor dining platforms in front of 11 San Pedro restaurants. Restaurants on Sixth, Seventh, and Centre Streets will be completed next week, introducing a new angle on outdoor dining in the South Bay city.

Teddy’s Red Tacos opened a fifth location this week, this time in East LA on the border of Montebello with ample outdoor seating. Another Teddy’s spot is coming for Downey as well, hours are from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

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