Luxury Restaurant Where Gov. Newsom Dined Received Over $2 Million In PPP Loans

Jae C. Hong/Pool via REUTERS

Elizabeth Louise Contributor
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The French Laundry, the luxury restaurant that California Governor Gavin Newsom was spotted dining at after he announced that indoor dining was not allowed, reportedly received millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The highly acclaimed luxury restaurant where you can make a reservation for $450 to enjoy a private outdoor dining experience, received several loans in PPP funding, according to ABC7 news. The loans received by the French Laundry amounted to more than $2.4 million.

The first loan that the French Laundry received totaled over $2.2 million in order to keep 163 employees, while the second loan was $194,656 in order to keep five employees, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Both loans were approved on April 30.

ABC7 analyzed data which found that the luxury restaurant was presented with 17 times more than a regular restaurant in the Bay Area. (RELATED: Gavin Newsom Aides Privately Worry About Forced Special Election Possibility, Report Says)

“I’m angry, but what can I do about it?” explained Dennis Berkowitz, the former owner of the San Mateo restaurant Vault 164. Mr. Berkowitz struggled to even get $318,000 in loans just to keep 50 employees. The loan ended up not being enough to keep his business afloat, and Berkowitz was faced with the difficult decision to sell his restaurant in July.

“I’ve had a 40-year run in the restaurant business, so I consider myself fortunate,” Berkowitz explained. “I really feel bad for the next generation of restauranteurs because they’re screwed.”