Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he supports the state and local health restrictions that have been imposed on city restaurant owners, including Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill owner Angela Marsden, as a means of curbing the coronavirus pandemic.
“My heart goes out to Ms. Marsden and the workers at the Pineapple Hill Saloon who have to comply with state and county public health restrictions that close outdoor dining,” Garcetti told The New York Times. “No one likes these restrictions, but I do support them as our hospital I.C.U. beds fill to capacity and cases have increased by 500%. We must stop this virus before it kills thousands of more Angelenos.”
Marsden, who has been protesting local business restrictions, was featured in an emotional viral video on Friday in which she highlighted the outdoor seating at a film production area directly across from her closed outdoor restaurant patio.
“[Garcetti] has approved this being set up for … a movie company. I’m losing everything. Everything I own is being taken away from me, and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio,” said Marsden. “And people wonder why I’m protesting and why I have had enough. They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive. My staff cannot survive.”
“Look at this,” she continues, pointing to her patio. “Tell me that this is dangerous, but right next to me is a slap in my face, that’s safe. This is safe? Fifty feet away?”
Bar owner in Los Angeles CA is livid to see that mayor Garcetti has approved an outdoor dining area for a movie company directly across from her outdoor dining area (which was shut down) pic.twitter.com/jkUP2CWg35
— Jake Coco 💙🇺🇸🎶🐻 (@jakecoco) December 4, 2020
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 late last month in favor of closing down outdoor dining, a move that was supported by Supervisors Mark Ridley Thomas, Hilda Solis, and Sheila Kuehl — who herself dined at an outdoor restaurant after the vote.
Marsden told KCAL-9 she spent nearly $80,000 renovating her restaurant to comply with local restrictions, and that she can’t cover her margins solely on take-out orders.
In an interview with The New York Times, Marsden said that her staff “can’t pay their rent, they have to tell their kids they don’t have a job or money for Christmas,” and it was “devastating” for her to see the movie production tents set up for people to eat mere feet from her restaurant.
A spokesperson for FilmLA, a film permit management non-profit, told the Times the production crew for “Good Girls” had received a permit to operate in the parking lot.
Other restaurant owners are also struggling with the business restrictions in Los Angeles.
Dave Foldes, the owner of Cronies Sports Bar and Grill, told Fox News Los Angeles last week that he has continued to host outdoor dining at his restaurant in accordance with health regulations in other parts of the state, but has been receiving citations from local officials for refusing to close in-person dining completely.
“The thing that hurts the most here is we’re here for our staff members during Christmas time who need money more than ever, and we don’t have the heart to lay them off,” he told the local news outlet.
Now, Foldes can’t operate his restaurant at all because his permit has been revoked, and an upcoming hearing will decide whether the permit will be pulled permanently.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.