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Orange County Restaurants Reach Biggest Reopening Milestone Yet

Plus, restaurant collaborations, big names are hiring staff, and a heck of a taco party in Highland Park

Disneyland Resort Reopens Following Covid-19 Closure
Workers in PPE at Disneyland

After weeks of waiting, Orange County has fully qualified for the state’s yellow tier, the least-restrictive level in California’s coronavirus reopening system. The move, which was made official this morning, comes after weeks of (slowly) falling COVID-19 case rates, and means that businesses can further reopen for things like indoor sit-down dining, and expanded retail services. There is currently no less-restrictive tier for counties to move into, though Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly stated that much (if not all) of California would ‘fully’ reopen on June 15 given our current vaccination rates. That’s when public officials say they will align with the Center for Disease Control regarding reduced mask mandates and other public health protocols, too.

The move is good news for Orange County businesses (including Disneyland) eager to get back to a wider reopening, though throughout much of the pandemic some restaurants and other retail service businesses have openly defied the state-level public health mandates in Orange County anyway. Los Angeles County, for its part, has had stricter public health rules in place throughout most of the pandemic, and reopened in the yellow tier weeks before Orange County. Other regions of Southern California, including Riverside County and San Diego, remain in the higher orange tier.

In other news:

  • The takeout-only Henry Parsons Project in Pasadena has decided to add on-site dining to its repertoire, albeit in a limited capacity. The plan is to add an ongoing a la carte veranda menu to the mix, with dinner-only seatings on Saturday and Sunday night for now. Check out the full details here.
  • Kuya Lord and Speak Cheezy are collaborating on a new pizza for the ongoing Pop-Off LA collaboration series to benefit the AAPI community. Pickups are available on Friday at Dear John’s, where RiceBox and Estrano will also be in attendance.
  • Feel like moving to the Central Coast to learn how to cook tri-tip? The famed (and more than 130-year-old) Cold Spring Tavern in the hills above Santa Barbara is hiring for a variety of positions in anticipation of what is expected to be a record-breaking kind of summer travel season.
  • Highland Park’s Villa Tacos took home this year’s Taco Madness tournament trophy. The annual bracket challenge put on by LA Taco saw stiff competition over several weeks, with Vic Villa ultimately hoisting the cup as part of a massive celebration on York. Check out photos from the event over at LA Taco.
  • East Coast-based Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt is opening at the redone Manhattan Village soon, reports Toddrickallen. The chain started in Pennsylvania in 1945.
  • In more hiring news, the long-awaited Bicyclette from the Republique team is getting ready to open soon. As such they’ve begun to scour for staff (just like everyone else) in order to bring the restaurant in the former Sotto and Picca space on Pico up to speed.

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