As cities and counties across California order businesses to once again shut down per Governor Gavin Newsom’s harsh COVID guidelines, one restaurant owner in Redondo Beach fired back a resounding “No” – and did so in the most hilarious way possible.
Alex Jordan, who owns the Eat at Joe's diner, said he can’t shut down over the Christmas season and leave all his employees stranded without income, so he’s remaining open despite LA County’s mandate to shut down all indoor and outdoor dining services.
And, to get away with it, he’s unfurled a giant banner across his restaurant that reads: “The French Laundry: Patio Dining.” The banner is an obvious jab at Newsom, who got caught attending a 50th birthday party for one of his political advisors at the upscale and pricey French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley despite his own orders mandating social distancing and telling restaurants and their patrons to stick to outdoor dining.
“COVID is a terrible thing. There is no argument there,” Jordan told KTLA. “But I’m not sure that picking on restaurants to such a degree is the answer. It hasn’t been proven through any medical numbers that eating outside is causing this. So why do they have to close us down? We are following all the rules to a T, and still they want to close us down.”
Last week, LA County ordered all restaurants to return to takeout and delivery service only as COVID cases – but not necessarily deaths – have spiked in the local area. But Jordan said that without unemployment benefits to make up the difference, his employees don’t have a choice but to work, meaning he will remain open and employ them.
“We’re still open because I have very loyal employees who have been with me for many, many years, and putting them out of work without any government aid or stimulus or help four weeks before Christmas time is just not OK in any way, shape or form with me,” he said. “The fact that they are letting other businesses be open 20%, or 25%, and penalizing us doesn’t seem fair.”