A Los Angeles County restaurant is flouting coronavirus-related restrictions in an effort to help keep its employees financially afloat before Christmas, while also taking a jab at the state’s governor, numerous sources reported.
Eat at Joe’s, located in Redondo Beach Bay, is defying the orders by remaining open for outdoor dining. The owner, Alex Jordan, is sending a message with a sign placed on the restaurant that says “The French Laundry” — the name of the upscale restaurant where Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was attending an indoor dinner party in early November.
This Redondo Beach restaurant has a not so subtle message for CA. Owner Alex says he’s defying LA County orders to close outdoor dining because it’s not about him, it’s about all the workers that rely on him for livelihoods, and he can’t leave them stranded right before Christmas pic.twitter.com/rRlUGlKbkR
— Christina Pascucci (@ChristinaKTLA) November 29, 2020
Jordan told KTLA that his business has followed all of the rules that came along with allowing restaurants to open, and he wasn’t comfortable with putting his employees out of work weeks before Christmas with no financial stimulus aid.
“The fact that they are letting other businesses be open 20%, or 25%, and penalizing us doesn’t seem fair,” he added.
Los Angeles County shut down all dining at restaurants and bars for at least three weeks beginning the day before Thanksgiving, only permitting restaurants to offer take-out options.
The mandate also slashes the allowed occupancy of essential retail, non-essential retail, personal care facilities, libraries, outdoor gyms, museums, aquariums, recreational facilities and other businesses, the local outlet reported. (RELATED: LA County’s Latest Lockdown Order Exempts Protests, Religious Services)
Newsom has urged California residents to wear face masks “in between bites” at restaurants and announced that California is “pulling an emergency brake” and mandating the most restrictive tier of coronavirus restrictions for more than two dozen California counties.
But Newsom’s leadership during the pandemic has been criticized following photos of him maskless with California Medical Association (CMA) officials at the world renowned Napa Valley restaurant celebrating a birthday. Newsom later apologized when the photos were circulated in the media, saying “we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner.”
EXCLUSIVE: We’ve obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he’s in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed. 10pm on @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/gtOVEwa864
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 18, 2020
Jordan told KTLA he has yet to have anyone try shut his business down, and acknowledges how “terrible” the virus is.
“But I’m not sure that picking on restaurants to such a degree is the answer,” he said. “It hasn’t been proven through any medical numbers that eating outside is causing this. So why do they have to close us down? We are following all the rules to a T, and still they want to close us down.”
He also is allowing his employees to opt out of working during this time without facing consequences, but his employees are choosing to continue working.
“I think its important for us to send a message that we can’t just let other people tell us what to do all the time when it’s wrong,” he told KTLA.