Los Angeles faces 6 things. curfew on Tuesday after widespread protests against the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer that began last week.
For local restaurants, which have recovered from more than two months of takeout-only during the COVID-19 pandemic, curfews – which have been imposed since Saturday in all cities and Sundays in all regions – have more complicated efforts to reopen completely.
“It’s a mess, it’s really confusing,” said Jesus Lezama, manager of Versailles Cuban Food at Palms. “We have as little information as our customers have.”
In some cases over the weekend, the curfew was issued only hours before, causing restaurant owners to scramble to adjust plans and notify staff.
Some restaurants choose to close earlier than the curfew to allow employees and customers to go home. But many others – including Guelaguetza, Apple Pan and most Sweetgreen salad chain locations – are closed all day.
“All our stores will be closed again, Tuesday, June 2,” Go Get Em Tiger coffee shop posted to Instagram. “Please support one of LA’s black coffee shops.”
Adding to the confusion, cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Culver City imposed an earlier curfew, replacing orders for the entire region.
Lezama said Versailles, usually open until 10 pm, had closed at 5:30 pm. according to the city curfew. But because the restaurant is on the border with Culver City – home to 4 pm. curfew – many customers assume the restaurant closes early, which in turn reduces sales.
“That makes us far more difficult, uncertainty,” Lezama said. “We have lost 80% of our business [during the coronavirus shutdown], and now it’s getting lower every day. “
He plans to open Versailles for dinner on Wednesday; now, because of the curfew, he is pushing the reopening to next week.
Although most restaurants close at the start of each curfew, some, such as large fast food chains, have maintained normal hours, or are nearing normal.
An employee at Domino’s Pizza in Venice said the pizza restaurant was open until 1 am for delivery and pickup. At McDonald’s in Torrance, the drive-through and lobby are both open 24 hours, although an employee at the nearest 24-hour location says the restaurant’s dining room will close at 7 pm.
Other chains vary in their plans, which appear to be determined by franchise operators. Taco Bell in Hollywood closes at 4 pm; the location in West L. is closed for the day.
Major food delivery platforms such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats turn off their services at night to fulfill local curfew orders.
Although the curfew excludes those who “travel to and from work,” some restaurant workers expressed concern at stopping the police on their way home.
At Versailles, Lezama said he had let employees leave early if needed, especially those who depend on public transportation.
Tirsa Nevarez of Tirsa’s Mexican Cafe, near Grand Park and City Hall, closed its restaurant on Sunday after employees raised safety concerns about working near protests in the city center.
“My employees and I are truly united. They told me if they did not feel safe and did not want to work, “Nevarez said.
Closing restaurants is not a decision that business owners take lightly, he said.
“I have the majority of women employed, and they are currently the only one who has a job in their family,” he said. “All their husbands lost various jobs. They support their household now. “
Tirsa is usually busiest at night, so curfew has a significant effect on the restaurant’s bottom line.
“Our employees have lost their turn again,” Nevarez said. “These things hurt.”
At the same time the curfew mandate had become yet another curvature of the ball in what he described as a “whirlwind of chaos chaos.”
But he added that was a minor inconvenience considering the larger goals.
“We stood by the movement. We want to give them space to be heard now, “he said. “We’re just trying to navigate everyday life with this movement.”
Ria Barbosa, chef-owner of Petite Peso in downtown West 7th Street, said she makes decisions every day. During protests on Friday, the windows at Petite Peso were destroyed, totaling around $ 350 in damage, Barbosa said.
On Tuesday morning, he gathered his small restaurant crew to discuss whether to unload plywood sheets that were still covering the storefront and reopen for business.
“We surveyed the vibrations of the city center and decided to postpone. There is not much pedestrian traffic and everything is closed, “he said.” We’ll see how tomorrow is. “