Local Bars, Restaurants Welcome State’s Reopening

Photo by Christian Leonard / Burbank Leader
Blue Room bartender Tony Salvi serves two customers after this week’s statewide reopening. Bar owner John Samarjian said he wasn’t worried the bar would close down permanently, though other business owners said they barely made it.

Lorraine Hart ordered a vodka tonic this week and did what would have been unthinkable several months ago: She sat at the bar.

The Glendale resident sipped her drink as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played on the jukebox. She had been going to the local Blue Room bar for about 30 years, and with capacity limits for bars and restaurants recently lifted, it appeared she would visit the iconic location for years more.

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Governor Expected to Reopen State Economy Tuesday

California is set next week to reopen. Burbank resident Daniel Cota said he plans to lock down.

On Tuesday, June 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom is scheduled to lift statewide restrictions on businesses’ capacity limits and most social distancing requirements. California’s face covering rules will also align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, which say fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in most settings.

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On Happy Note, City Approves Music in the Park’s Return

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council discussed items on Tuesday that anticipate a return to pre-pandemic days, approving the revival of Music in the Park beginning July 5 after the popular summer concert series was canceled in 2020 due to restrictions set by the Los Angeles County health department.

Coinciding with L.A. County’s recent arrival in the yellow tier, the least restrictive level in the state’s four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the city staff told council members it is planning to conform with the protocols currently in place for outdoor live events and performances. Under current requirements, the city is securing bands and vendors to provide 10 live concerts (instead of the traditional 16), starting Monday, July 5, and every Sunday thereafter through Sept. 5. 

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A Year Into Pandemic, Burbank’s Unemployment Still Elevated

Data Source: California Employment Development Department

Burbank’s unemployment rate last month was significantly higher than it was in March 2020, according to state data, with the gap recently widening slightly.

The city’s unemployment rate bumped up from 11.1% in February to 11.3% in March, according to preliminary data from the California Employment Development Department. While the number of unemployed workers remained constant at 6,600, the number of employed residents fell from 52,400 to 52,200.

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