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New mandate requires vaccinations for L.A. County bars

Security officer checks for proof of vaccination status before customers can enter the bar at Permanent Records Roadhouse
Security officer Don McClaren checks for proof of vaccination status from customers before they can enter the bar inside Permanent Records Roadhouse on Friday, July 30, 2021 in Los Angeles.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

A new mandate will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for customers and employees at indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges in Los Angeles County.

My colleagues Luke Money, Rong-Gong Lin II and Stephanie Breijo reported on the mandate this week. It will require staff and patrons to have at least one vaccine dose by Oct. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4. Currently 67% of L.A. County residents are at least partially vaccinated, according to a Times analysis.

The directive comes as health officials look ahead to fall and winter, hoping to curtail the kinds of spikes in cases that occurred last year as the weather cooled, gatherings moved indoors and holiday get-togethers spurred travel.

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Their story quotes Dustin Lancaster, whose credits include Bar Covell in Los Feliz, Augustine Wine Bar in Sherman Oaks and six other L.A.-area bars and restaurants. “If you want to sit inside at a bar, it makes 100% sense to me that you should be vaccinated,” Lancaster said. “The science is there, we know that vaccinations help decrease this, and all of our customers — for the most part — have been incredibly supportive and say, ‘Thank you,’ and ‘I’m so glad you’re doing this.’”

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Luke and Ron followed up with a quick, point-by-point explanation of what you need to know before heading out.

Stephanie reported last month on a group of 20 restaurants and bars independently requiring customers to be vaccinated. Among the group was Osteria La Buca on Melrose Avenue. I went to the restaurant last week with my partner and a visiting friend. A security guard outside the entrance checked our cards (or pictures of our cards). It felt like having our ID checked before going inside a bar. Which is to say: not a big deal if you’re vaccinated.

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Jenn Harris ate through the food options at the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood: burgers, tacos, burritos, pizza and a hot dog-stuffed stromboli among them. Jenn details her thoughts in her story, but it’s even better to watch her candid real-time reactions in the video.

Hollywood Park, the 300-acre business development project that’s already home to SoFi Stadium and a casino, will also house a massive project by Barbara “Sky” Burrell, slated to open in November 2022. The 3,800-square-foot iteration of her Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, Stephanie reports, will include “a large dining room; a lounge featuring a piano bar and other live entertainment multiple nights of the week; Burrell’s first dedicated bar; a patio; and private event spaces.”

After a year on pause, the Michelin guide soon returns to California. Stephanie reports that its next update of starred restaurant ratings will be announced Sept. 28. Stephanie also has the week’s news roundup, including details on the opening of Primo’s Donuts in Westwood Village and a second Long Beach location for pizza favorite Little Coyote.

Staff photographer Robert Gauthier has a beautiful photo essay and an accompanying story on 36-year-old sake brewer James Jin and his Nova Brewing Co., the only craft sake brewery and tasting room in the L.A. area.

Outstanding in the Field Dinner Events in October

The L.A. Times is partnering with Outstanding in the Field on five dinner events in evocative Los Angeles and Orange County settings throughout October, highlighting local chefs while addressing sustainability and environmental topics.

On Thursday, Oct. 7, at Sepulveda Dam (a location that showcases restoration efforts of the L.A. River watershed), the event includes the premiere of the film “Man in the Field,” profiling Outstanding in the Field founder Jim Denevan.

An afternoon event on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Wattles Farm, the 4-acre community garden in West Hollywood, spotlights women farmers as well as women-owned wineries and breweries.

Sustainable seafood is the theme of a dinner at Huntington Beach Pier on Tuesday, Oct. 12, featuring chefs Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group and Craig Brady of Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar in Orange.

Chefs John Cleveland of Post & Beam and Eric Bost (formerly at Auburn in L.A. and now at Jeune et Jolie & Campfire Restaurant in Carlsbad) headline a farm-to-table dinner at the Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, Oct. 14; the food will be sourced from the center’s 28 acres.

Paramount Studios in Hollywood will be the iconic locale on Saturday, Oct. 16, for a dinner spotlighting rising-star chefs in L.A., curated by Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish and Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections.

Tickets, which cost $385 per person for each event, part of the The L.A. Times Food Bowl, presented by City National Bank, are available at lafoodbowl.com.

James Jin, owner and brewer at Nova Brewing Co.
James Jin, owner and brewer at Nova Brewing Co., bundles a pile of rice he will use to make koji for the production of sake.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)


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