Local Restaurants Struggle With Dining Ban

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Michel LeChasseur, who owns Ma’s Italian Kitchen in Burbank, said he feels restaurants are being unfairly singled out by Los Angeles County officials for a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Michel LeChasseur, owner of Ma’s Italian Kitchen in Burbank, said his business is on its last legs. He also said his restaurant is one of the lucky ones.
LeChasseur said the eatery, which made much of its revenue from its catering services to production studios, is bringing in less than a third of what it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to slash employees’ hours and lay off 14 of his 22 workers. He added that he even chose to forgo his own salary so he could keep paying his workers; his husband’s job is keeping them both afloat.
Still, LeChasseur learned to adjust, though he watched eight friends lose their restaurants during the pandemic. He spread out tables on his restaurant’s patio and bought Plexiglas shields to protect customers. His servers wore gloves and two layers of masks. As the colder months approached, he purchased heaters.

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Closed Restaurants Call on Residents to Support Local Eateries

The “animator room,” featuring drawings from cartoon artists stopping by Moore’s Deli for a bite, brought customers from across the United States. But after the coronavirus pandemic hit, the restaurant’s owner was forced to close his business permanently.

“I’m going to do everything that I can in the next couple of weeks to keep us afloat. But I don’t see us going much longer.”
That’s what Chris Applegate remembers telling his employees this summer. Despite the economic weight the coronavirus pandemic had dropped on his restaurant, the Backstage Cafe, he had hoped that it would have “one great day” that would get it through the week, and then another that would get it through the next week.
“But,” he said in a phone interview, “in the end, it just didn’t happen.”

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