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The owner of Cronies Sports Bar and Grill in Agoura may be prohibited from operating permanently after he refused to comply with the recent Los Angeles County order to stop all in-person dining, including outdoor dining, from taking place in the region.
Dave Foldes, the owner of Cronies, told Fox News Los Angeles earlier this week that after Los Angeles County banned outdoor dining, he continued to offer it at his restaurant in accordance with health regulations in other parts of the state so that he wouldn’t have to lay off his staff ahead of Christmas.
“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,” Foldes told the local news outlet.
But since he started operating his outdoor dining area without the county’s blessing, he has received warnings from them to stop doing so, and has racked up at least two health code violations — which start at $1,000 each. His health permit has since been revoked.
“We really have no choice, we’re barely getting by, we’re losing $5 to $10 grand a month in our busiest normal months,” Foldes told Fox LA of the decision to stay open. “We’re following all the regulations that the rest of the country and state are following. We just need to survive, and I need to make sure our staff survives, okay, because they can’t afford it.”
Now, without a permit, Cronies can’t legally offer curbside pick-up, take-out, or delivery even though Los Angeles County continues to allow those forms of business. According to Agora City Councilmember Deborah Klein Lopez, the public health department will now hold a “revocation hearing” to decide whether their permit will get pulled permanently.
Should the permit-pull become permanent, a criminal case would also be filed against Cronies, she explained.
This breaks my heart. The owner told me he lost his dad to COVID in April, he understands it’s serious, he’s taking all precautions with his outside dining. He just didn’t have the heart to abandon his workers before the holidays. Here’s our story w/ him.https://t.co/MFdDqYhGge
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 5, 2020
Los Angeles County restaurant owners have been facing an uphill battle ever since the county decided to cancel outdoor dining, even after many owners made expensive accommodations to comply with county health orders.
Angela Marsden, owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, recently gained widespread attention after she was featured in an emotional video in which she pointed to film production crew tents that were put up to feed workers across the parking lot from her closed outdoor dining tents.
“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 [as] 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
Marsden told KCAL-9 she’s spent $80,000 to comply with coronavirus guidelines.