Pasadena restaurants to close alfresco dining on Sunday evening as new state order goes into effect – Daily News
Many Pasadena residents enjoyed a last meal at a restaurant for a while, as hours passed until the state’s last stay-at-home order went into effect on Sunday night, December 6.
Under a state order issued on Saturday, December 5, restaurants in Pasadena – so far the last restaurants in Los Angeles County allowed to serve diners in person – have been required to shut down foreign service. Sunday night.
City officials have said Pasadena, which runs its own health service, will fully follow and enforce the state’s order.
“We really hope our community supports our restaurants through take-out, delivery and holiday gift cards,” Lisa Derderian, the city’s public information officer, said on Sunday. “There’s never a good time of year, but during the holidays it’s even worse. State ordinances replace city ordinances, so we will follow updated restrictions. “
The state’s new rules aim to ease the relentless spread of the coronavirus in recent weeks. For the fifth time in six days, Los Angeles County eclipsed its daily record for new cases on Sunday, posting a staggering 10,528 new infections.
Pasadena also had its worst day of a pandemic, Derderian said, reporting 120 new cases on Sunday.
“Many are from Thanksgiving gatherings,” she said, “and if these positive cases aren’t isolated and quarantined immediately, it’s like a domino effect with additional cases.”
The state shutdown dealt a blow to restaurant owners who thought, for just a moment, they had dodged a bullet when Pasadena left the county leaving alfresco dining open last week.
Teddy Bedjakian, owner of Edwin Mills in Old Pasadena, said he was upset to once again leave his employees – many of whom are new – without a paycheck.
Bedjakian had planned the outdoor restaurants to close since Newsom’s announcement last week, but didn’t know when it would arrive. He had reserved until Sunday evening, a full tent for each meal. His restaurant was one of the county’s scores, which opened an impromptu service on patios, parking lots, sidewalks and closed city streets when indoor dining was banned in July during the summer surge. of the pandemic.
On Saturday morning, expecting the order to come imminently, Bedjakian called his employees together and told them that they would work for free that night, just to lift them up, then said, “All profits. tonight’s dinner will go to you as a Christmas bonus. All sales.
“These kids have only shown me loyalty,” Bedjakian said. “How much can that hurt me, really?” I am already downstairs. Hit me more, I’m used to it.
The new state ordinance was triggered when the percentage of available adult intensive care beds in southern California fell below the state’s 15% threshold on Thursday. The region’s available ICU capacity was down 10.3% on Sunday, down from 12.5% on Saturday and 13.1% on Friday.
The order was due to go into effect Sunday at 11:59 p.m., although an existing statewide curfew prohibits non-essential travel after 10 p.m.
Pasadena restaurants were also not allowed to stay open after 10 p.m. as part of a city-wide order, for remaining customers to take out and deliver.
Even with the restaurant rush Pasadena has seen over the past few days, none of the restaurants were making as much money as they were normally, Bedjakian said. Since the start of the pandemic, he said, 13 restaurants have closed in his immediate area.
Bedjakian said he was frustrated with the round trips, the unpredictability of the restrictions.
“Are we open? Are we not? You give us a little bite and then take it off, ”he said. “It does not mean anything.”
Like many others, he has invested tens of thousands of dollars in equipment to keep his customers comfortable when eating out. He is afraid that all is lost. And, perhaps more disturbing is the psychological effect it had on him.
“As a restaurateur, you feel like a criminal. Because the criminals are the ones watching their backs, ”he said, describing the daily inspections by health officials. “They come to you and you are scared. And you should be scared because you see big restaurants closing for little problems. “
Jim Christos, owner of Foothill, argued restaurateurs were more than willing to jump through the hoops exposed by health officials, saying it was unfair to force them to close.
“I understand they want to get it under control,” he said in an interview. “At the same time, I think restaurants have been more than willing to follow the rules, be good citizens and do whatever we can, not only to protect our customers, but our employees as well.”
Christos, and many others, say they would be forced to fire or lay off most of their employees without dining al fresco. It doesn’t take a lot of people to run a take-out kitchen, especially when business is slow – and all expect business to slow down when al fresco dining disappears.
“It has been an incredible ordeal to survive COVID,” he said. “We have to, more or less, live from week to week, day to day, waiting to see if the powers that be pass new regulations.”
But, he said, “I’m a perennial optimist, I’m a fighter, as I’m sure most of my fellow restaurant workers are. We will fight as best we can to survive. And this is the mode in which we have been in 2020. ”
Some saw the weekend as a last chance to dine out before another lockdown.
Jenni Fornet stepped out of Hollywood to Pasadena on Saturday just to eat on Colorado Boulevard.
“It’s like the last supper,” she said. “Or the last brunch, whatever. It’s the last part of normalcy – and it’s not even that normal – we sit in the middle of the street for god’s sake. But it’s better than staying at home every day.