With new stay-at-home restrictions once again shuttering some businesses in Southern California, local officials including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and Mayor Eric Garcetti face criticism over the economic impact those restrictions are having on residents.
Over the weekend, video of one Sherman Oaks restaurant owner went viral as she shared her anger and frustration over Los Angeles’ new ban on outdoor dining. The county-wide ban is drawing backlash, as officials attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the region and reduce hospitalizations.
For the past 10 years, Angela Marsden has owned and operated her restaurant Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill. After giving her employees their final paycheck, Marsden recorded her video visibly upset by the fact that production tents and tables were set up adjacent to her recently closed establishment. Members of the television production set were reportedly seen eating under the tents, according to ABC.
"Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio," Marsden says in the video. "They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive. My staff cannot survive.”
As TMZ points out, the restrictions for film and tv productions are pretty robust, requiring regular testing of crew and limited capacity that creates a “bubble,” unlike restaurants who serve a revolving group of customers without any testing requirements. However, that doesn’t take away from how heart wrenching it is to see residents like Marsden struggling during a global pandemic that has decimated so many small businesses.
According to ABC, Marsden spent about $80,000 in loans to set up a new outdoor dining area and can’t afford to pivot to takeout. In response to her video, a GoFundMe for the business has now received over $130,000 in donations.
Others are also criticizing the new ban, including actor Michael Rapaport who shared a video on Instagram showing a packed flea market, despite the new restrictions. “Flea Market is Popping on Melrose and Fairfax,” he wrote on IG. “This is why people are pissed. Shits not right @mayorofla @gavinnewsom. CURRENTLY OUTDOOR DINING IS SHUTDOWN IN LA!!!”