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It’s July 2022, and Masks Are Likely Coming Back Indoors in Los Angeles

Plus, Shakey’s on Santa Monica Boulevard closes tomorrow, and tragedy for an East Hollywood restaurant

LA mask new mandate Francine Orr / 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 officials have mandated indoor masks requiring face coverings at indoor restaurants, bars, cafes, and businesses, a measure that will return as soon as July 29 if community transmission and hospitalizations do not improve. In the past month, COVID-19 deaths have doubled to about 100 per week, and in the past two weeks, hospitalizations have risen nearly 55 percent.

The Times also notes this wave of omicron subvariants, specifically BA.5, has already pushed Los Angeles County into the high community level as of last Thursday. The mask mandate will be enacted by the end of the month if conditions do not improve.

The seemingly imminent 2022 mask mandate will be similar to what was enacted in July 2021, when Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer implemented the masks-on strategy to fight the delta variant surge. That order remained in place until March 2022.

Shakey’s closing to make way for Tesla diner

The nearly 50-year-old Shakey’s Pizza on Santa Monica near La Brea in Hollywood will close on Tuesday, reports NBC-4. Tesla bought the building earlier this year to make way for a 24-hour diner and movie theater.

Rockbird Silver Lake

Glendale’s Rockbird will open a second location in the coming three to four weeks. The popular chicken spot’s owners confirmed to Eater LA that its store is taking over the central space next to Mohawk Bend. There’s also a third location in the works on York Boulevard in Highland Park.

Fights at Knott’s Berry Farm

Theme park Knott’s Berry Farm was forced to close on Saturday after a series of fights engulfed the crowds, reports CBS News.

The power lunch returns

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Century City and Beverly Hills reservations are up by 13 percent since 2019. The story leaned on OpenTable statistics and interviewed entertainment executives who report difficulty securing daytime tables.

The challenges of street food vending

Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano called out the vicious cycle of operating as a street food vendor in Southern California, which starts with popularity among city dwellers, the comes with high costs and harassment by law enforcement.

Tragedy at East Hollywood’s Good Good Vegan Kitchen + Bakeshop

Valerie Babayan, founder of Good Good Vegan Kitchen + Bakeshop, was in a fatal car accident over the weekend. On Instagram, Babayan’s supporters shared a GoFundMe to help cover her family’s “medical expenses, doctor bills, and all the costs that comes with losing a loved one.”

EDIT: A previous lead story incorrectly noted the indoor mask mandate does not include gyms.