REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - With coronavirus cases skyrocketing tightened restaurant restrictions are now in place across LA County. But that isn't stopping some restaurant owners from defying orders and fighting back with support from customers.
Wearing a mask Alex Jordan stands inside his restaurant “Eat at Joes” in Redondo Beach and says he is defying the LA County Public Health Department’s order to close down outdoor dining for at least three weeks and only offer takeout and delivery.
Jordan says, “The County has their own ideas on right and wrong and I’m just not in agreement with them.”“We all have choices,” he says. “We’re not forcing anyone to come sit here.”
But, why is he defying the order?
He says, “My primary reason for doing it is to protect my employees so they have income. That’s number one. Number 2?"
While he and his workers wear masks, gloves demonstrate all-due caution he says the health department hasn’t provided proof that restaurants are a point of transmission.
He says if they showed him proof maybe he’d think differently.
Says Jordan, “I don’t want to get into a scientific battle with the County, but there are other places being allowed to be open right now where people have just as much exposure if not more. We’re outside... fresh air... we’re keeping distance.”
And, customers are cheering him on.
Customer Lisa Marschall came here from Pacific Palisades after seeing the story on FOX 11's Good Day LA. She says, “I think it’s wrong to shut all the restaurants down... I just think it’s too extreme and it’s causing more problems.”
Michael Dagerath frames the public health order by saying,“I think it’s a great advisory and I’m choosing to do something different... I’m not in agreement with it.”
According to the county municipal code the fine for not permitting an inspection is $500. He says he wouldn’t block that. There’s also a $500 for any uncorrected violations up to and including taking away his license.
He says that could be problematic.
But, so far, no inspectors have come to his business so, he’s sticking to his guns. And, customer Jen Callanan applauds him for that. She says, “I’m tired of people telling us what to do.”
And, with regard to getting COVID-19, she says, “I worry, yes, but it doesn’t rule my life.”