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LA’s Bar and Nightclub Owners Once Again Say They’re Being Left in the Dark

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Also: A few big coffee openings are now kaput, and Tail O’ the Pup is still planning on selling hot dogs soon

Cocktail at Ronan
A cocktail at the ready
Wonho Frank Lee
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There’s a growing sense of hopelessness and anger among some in the Los Angeles bar and nightlife community, particularly now that California governor Gavin Newsom has re-instituted a full closure for any place that doesn’t also serve food. That announcement, made on July 1 just before what some were speculating would be a busy holiday weekend, was done to protect the health and safety of customers and employees during this growing coronavirus pandemic, but with no advanced warning the result is the same as the first lockdown: Businesses are stuck with product they can’t move, owners are forced to once again lay off staff, and nobody is being told when bars and clubs can reopen.

TMZ says that the industry is “on the verge of collapse” after talking to the owners of places like St. Felix and the Cat & Fiddle, as well as John Terzian of H.Wood Group. Meanwhile, some long-tenured bars like the 15-year-old Little Bar on La Brea are closing up shop altogether after this latest sudden shutdown. Ownership there told staff in an email obtained by Eater that even with federal loan money, the lack of information on reopening means that there’s little chance of continuing on without adding more debt to the company. “During this whole time the bar kept incurring more and more debt, back rent, we still owe money to vendors, etc.” the email reads. “As you know we are still ordered closed and don’t know when bars will be allowed to reopen. Unfortunately we need to let you know we are not going to reopen. We have decided to sell the bar.” Eater reached out to ownership for further statement but has not heard back.

And in other news:

  • LA Taco has the story of soul food tacos from the My 2 Cents space on Pico Boulevard in Mid-City.
  • Several big coffee projects around the city are now on hold. Word is that the Stumptown location in the Fashion District is down for the count, and the York Boulevard expansion in Highland Park is on hold as well. Similarly, Sightglass has put the brakes on its own expansion into West Adams, all as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and economic slowdown.
  • The 1933 Group is teasing more details about the return of Tail O’ the Pup, the historic hot dog stand that the preservationist group has been refurbishing for years. Look for an opening... somewhere... next year.
  • Beachwood BBQ has temporarily closed its Long Beach. Ownership called for the shutdown after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The Seal Beach location closed permanently last month.
  • Downtown Disney is reopening for outdoor dining and distanced shopping on Thursday. Expect a lot of new health and safety protocols in place, says the OC Register.
  • Newport Beach Wine & Food is coming back this fall, albeit with a very different look. Folks will use small electric boats (or their own boats) to pass from outdoor station to station, trying food under the open air.
  • The Ugly Drum team is popping up with some pastrami in the redone outdoor back lot at Mozza this Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.