A person suspected of driving under the influence in Santa Monica last weekend crashed into an outdoor dining area on Main Street, sending diners fleeing and injuring several people. The 8 p.m. Friday crash happened directly in front of the busy Urth Caffe, when the alleged 21-year-old driver ran into a heavy K-rail protecting the outdoor seating area there, per ABC7. The crash scattered diners and tables alike, and multiple people were injured — including one who was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.
While car crashes are sadly nothing new to patio seating at restaurants and street food stands around greater Los Angeles, they have taken on increased significance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic because of outdoor-only seating requirements. The Al Fresco setups, pushed in part by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are meant to provide safe on-site outdoor dining to help diners and restaurants navigate the airborne coronavirus, while also protecting from incidents like Friday’s car crash by utilizing barriers and other protection items. Not every outdoor dining setup has such safety measures in place, as has always been the case at cafes and other restaurants around the city, though so no one in greater Los Angeles has been seriously injured at one of the city-built outdoor dining areas around Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Pasadena, or beyond.
In other news:
- The New York Times takes a look at the cult of Erewhon, the upscale grocery store that has always attracted a particular kind of Los Angeles fascination online.
- A new wine and dinner pop-up called Good Clean Fun is taking place inside of Cognoscenti Coffee at 868 Olive Street in Downtown LA, reports the LA Times.
- HomeState is opening a new takeaway only location in the West Adams area this spring. The setup lands at 3923 W. Jefferson, with a full slate of TexMex tacos, queso, and beyond. The company also recently announced a fully-realized restaurant to come up in the Altadena area as well.
- Local restaurant clothing (think aprons, mostly) company Finery is partnering with a variety of POC-owned restaurants on a new slate of colorful collaborations, with sales from those limited-run aprons going to No Us Without You to feed undocumented back of house workers. The first run includes Earle’s on Crenshaw and others, with future restaurant collaborations to include Mariscos Jalisco and more.
- Plant-based Italian restaurant Pura Vita has opened a new location at 320 S. Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach. Expect pastas, pizzas, natural wine, and more.
- Urban Plates has expanded with two new ghost kitchen locations, thus increasing its delivery footprint into areas like Eagle Rock, Glendale, Silver Lake, and Highland Park, as well as West LA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, and more.
- The upscale Beverly Wilshire hotel has overhauled its outdoor space by completely taking over its long, lush cobblestone driveway. The result it s a limited-time pop-up there called THEBlvd Privé, opening March 3, with a focus on luxe ingredients and California flavors.