Health Order Rollback Allows Outdoor Dining

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Now that outdoor dining has resumed, the tables on San Fernando Boulevard are expected to return, though city workers will place barriers beside them rather than close the street to vehicle traffic.

Outdoor dining resumed on Friday following a health order from Los Angeles County officials, just days after the state lifted its prohibition of the practice.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he was lifting a stay-at-home order that has been in effect since early December, returning counties to the statewide guidelines of the tiered system, which allows in-person dining outdoors. L.A. County officials said later that day that they would issue a health order on Friday allowing restaurants to serve patrons outdoors.
The county also rescinded a curfew for nonessential businesses that requires them to close from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.
Burbank officials said that on Tuesday they will place modular barriers known as K-rails on parts of San Fernando Boulevard, along with tables and chairs to allow diners to eat outdoors. The city closed parts of the road in downtown Burbank to vehicle traffic last year for the same purpose, but officials said businesses that were surveyed indicated they preferred this “hybrid” approach.

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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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