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After a Lengthy COVID-19 Hiatus, the Hollywood Bowl Reopens in July

Plus, LA city council votes to investigate grocery store closures, Universal Studios reopens, and vaccines in Long Beach

The Hollywood Bowl has been transformed into a drive-thru food distribution on Thursdays in a season when the concerts are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The drive-thru food distribution is organized by L.A. County, with major help from the L.A. Re
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.

The Hollywood Bowl, LA’s beloved amphitheater, will reopen in early July. Today’s reopening announcement is likely the result of vaccination numbers going up, while daily infection rates and deaths continue to drop throughout Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles Times reports the 14 week concert season could have the potential for full capacity if trends continue downward and follow California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to fully open the state by June 15. That’s 17,500 seats for the Hollywood Bowl, among other performance venues that could open with full capacity by then.

For the first time in its almost 100 year history, the entire 2020 season was canceled last May due to the coronavirus pandemic. As with most live music venues throughout the Southland, the Bowl hasn’t seen a live act on its historic stage in almost one year.

The Bowl will host four free concerts for essential workers before June 15. That includes groups like first responders, healthcare workers, including grocery store staff, custodians and delivery drivers. They’ll limit the capacity to 4,000 people to make sure social distancing is maintained.

In other news:

  • On Wednesday, Los Angeles city council members Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Paul Koretz introduced a motion to investigate why Kroger Co. chose to close of three LA grocery stores this year, reports Fox-11. The grocery giant announced the store closures almost immediately after the council passed a city ordinance requiring large grocers to temporarily pay employees an extra $5 per hour in hazard pay.
  • Boston-based and James Beard award-winning chef Tony Messina is moving to Los Angeles, a city he considers a second home, reports Eater Boston.
  • LA-based La Monarca Bakery partnered with ECOLIFE Conservation, a nonprofit that protects butterfly habitats in Michoacán, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles’s Butterfly Pavilion to save monarch butterflies. One percent of all La Monarca sales goes to the ECOLIFE Conservation. If visiting any La Monarca location or the LA or the Natural History museum until April 30, they’re selling a $4 bag of California Milkweed seed, which feeds and protects the monarch butterfly.
  • Universal Studios reopens April 16. Only California residents are allowed for now, and while most rides will be up and running like the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Transformers, and The Simpsons, others will opening at a later date due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • West Hollywood’s Petrossian is bringing outdoor dining back along with a caviar, canapés, and champagne menu on Friday and Saturday nights. Looks pretty decadent. Reservations are available via Tock.
  • A LA high-speed chase with police ended with a stolen dump truck crashing into the Habit’s El Segundo location, reports CBS-2.
  • In vaccination news, Long Beach started vaccinating residents 16 and older in walk-up clinics at the Long Beach Convention Center Monday through Saturday. On Thursday, CBS-2 reported the California State University Los Angeles vaccination site announced an excess of COVID-19 vaccine doses and opened up appointments to anyone 18 and over. The federally-run site walked it back after being overwhelmed.
  • Elaine’s Bread Pudding will host a pop-up at Inglewood’s Sammich Shoppe today. Owner Derrick Russell prepared six out of his 35 flavors, including his signature sock-it-to-me bread pudding with cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecans.