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Letters to the Editor: California is making life impossible for restaurant owners

People toast each other at Cronies in Agoura Hills.
People toast each other at Cronies in Agoura Hills. The sports bar defied the state’s shutdown order.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The op-ed article by chef and restaurateur Brooke Williamson succinctly listed all of my frustrations as a restaurant owner.

I have owned my restaurant in Los Angeles for the last 20 years. Many of my 30 employees have been with me for most of that time. We have made it through 9/11, the great recession, fires and floods.

So far, we have made it through the COVID-19 pandemic, but our elected officials are trying to make this impossible for us.

There is one point on which I differ with Williamson: I do not want any money from taxpayers. I want to be allowed to make my own money. I want to be responsible for the fate of my restaurant.

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For the first time in more than 25 years as a business owner, it is not up to me whether I succeed or fail. It is up to the government, and that scares the daylights out of me.

José Grijalva, Tujunga

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To the editor: I read Williamson’s impassioned plea and found no mention of take-out or delivery options along with her suggested strategies for resolution.

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I am not unsympathetic to the plight of food industry professionals during this terrible time, but anecdotally, I do find a number of the ones I try to support resistant to implementing changes to better accommodate remote dining options.

I understand that this is a challenge to the traditional appeal of “eating out,” but when the paradigm of on-site dining as the primary goal is abandoned, new processes can be developed that have the potential to grow these businesses.

Like so many industries, we’re seeing a forced evolution in the food service realm, and, sadly, we may not see a reversal anytime soon. As such, the need to adapt in order to survive is mission critical.

It’s a harsh reality; after all, better buggy whips were no match for automobiles.

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R.C. Price, San Clemente

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To the editor: God bless the Supreme Court for giving restaurants a way to stay open. All they have to do is organize as a church and they can pack people inside. Best of all, their income will be tax exempt.

It doesn’t get any better than that. We will now dine at Our Lady of the Perpetual Feast.

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Shirley Conley, Gardena


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