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LA County Settles With Restaurant That Ignored Outdoor Dining Ban During Lockdown

Plus, plant-based options throughout SoCal, and Thunderbolt’s Halloween celebration

restaurant protests agaainst the state shut down orders Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
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.

Los Angeles County has settled a lawsuit with an Agoura Hills restaurant this week, ending a months-long battle over outdoor dining and restaurant shutdowns during the pandemic. Last December, health inspectors found people dining on Cronies’ patio when in-house dining was temporarily eliminated during Southern California’s COVID-19 winter surge. As part of the settlement, Cronies Sports Grill must pay $10,000 in abatement costs, plus potential further penalties.

According to the Los Angeles Sentinel, Cronies ownership also has $25,000 in suspended civil penalties, payable if the company violates the terms of its settlement with the county. The Cronies injunction also prohibits the business from “engaging in, conducting, managing or carrying on the operation of the restaurant or other dining establishment without a public health permit” in violation of the Los Angeles County Code, and ends in 18 months if Cronies fully complies.

According to the filing, the troubles first began on December 2, 2020 after the health inspector noticed 18 to 22 people eating on the outdoor patio, in violation of the local public health order banning on-site dining. The event has shades of Tinhorn Flats out of Burbank, the country and Western bar that loudly defied public health orders over the course of several months, leading to arrests, protests, and the forced closure of the business.

A meal and background on Chef Zach Pollack

CBS correspondent Jamie Wax interviewed Alimento and Cosa Buona chef Zach Pollack over a meal, who hinted that more locations could be coming to the Southland.

More plant-based options in SoCal

If searching for fast casual and plant-based dining in Los Angeles and Orange counties this week, header over to the LA Times.

Background for Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong

Patrick Soon-Shiong doesn’t give many interviews, but did so with the New Yorker this week. The lengthy piece outlines his family’s role in the paper as well as his own background (and how he spends his billions), and there are a few nuggets inside about the future of things like the LA Times food section’s long-awaited test kitchen.

Día de los Muertos at San Pedro Fish Market in Long Beach

There’s a Día de los Muertos celebration happening at San Pedro Fish Market from Saturday through Monday. Costumes are encouraged while overlooking the Alamitos Bay Marina.

Thunderbolt transforms this weekend for Halloween

Echo Park’s Thunderbolt will transform into a Southern greasy spoon this weekend. If drinking booze from coffee mugs and eating breakfast for dinner while a DJ plays sounds ideal, head there Friday through Sunday.