LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County remains in the purple and most restrictive tier of California’s reopening plan, which means restaurants can still not offer indoor dining.
What You Need To Know
- Just 39% of Californians, and 38% of L.A.-area residents said they would feel comfortable dining inside a restaurant
- But 60% of state residents who are employed said they are comfortable returning to their workplace right now, including 57% of L.A.-area residents
- L..A restaurants are still not able to offer indoor dinning
- Restaurants like Toscana have put time energy and money into making guests feel safe
Toscana of Brentwood created an entire outdoor structure to accommodate the restrictions and is already working on plans to welcome guests back into its dining room.
For now, the bar is used as storage. In the former dining room, there are plastic curtains covering construction with signs instructing guests to not enter.
General Manager Roberto Facciolla said they are taking this time for repairs. Facciolla has worked at Toscana for over 20 years. It is a small space where everyone knows each other. It’s usually full of warmth, excitement, and of course customers enjoying the high-end Italian fair.
“You have the energy of Toscana. Everybody knows each other. It’s loud, but fun,” said Facciolla.
For now, the fun has moved outside to the newly built patio. It took the restaurant a lot of time and money to create a space for guests to dine safely.
“It feels like this patio was here before. Everyone loves it. They feel safe and that makes me happy,” said the general manager.
Facciolla can’t wait for the time when he can welcome guests inside again.
It will only be at 25% capacity though, which means they can only have around six tables, which is not sustainable for any restaurant.
Facciolla and Director of Marketing Janine Sharell discussed how they will continue to make customers feel safe but also feel at home.
“We are taking it very seriously. It is unprecedented. We want to make sure people are comfortable. Toscana is a home away for home for a lot of people. We have been here for 31 years and some of the same customers are still coming here. They come here because it feels like home and we don’t want that to go away,” said Sharell.
One customer, Kasey, her husband, and four sons love Toscana and feel comfortable eating outside at restaurants, but when it comes to eating indoors again, Kasey said it will be a case by case basis.
“I think I may stay outdoors, but I mean they go to such lengths to make people feel safe, so maybe I would go back on my original statement and say I would eat indoors,” said Kasey.
Restaurants like Toscana put time energy and money into making families like Kasey’s feel safe and Facciolla hopes this hard work will help customers decide to eat indoors again when the county eventually gives the green light.
It remains unknown when Los Angeles County will change tiers and be allowed to offer indoor dining at 25% capacity.
Just 39% of Californians, and 38% of L.A.-area residents said they would feel comfortable dining inside a restaurant, according to an exclusive Spectrum News/Ipsos poll. But 60% of state residents who are employed said they are comfortable returning to their workplace right now, including 57% of L.A.-area residents.