WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Building is building for Jeff Ginter and his team at Choura Events — regardless of whether it's a giant tent for a music festival or an outdoor dining space at a local restaurant.
Over the last four months the company has pivoted several times, allocating their resources to assist others during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Going from building tents out in festivals in the desert to coming back to parking lots of restaurants like Craig’s, building is just inherently in all of us," Ginter said.
When the pandemic first hit Southern California in mid-March, Choura Events was just getting set to head out towards the Coachella Valley.
Instead, they shifted resources to building triage and testing tents. Now, more than three months later, they are back on the ground once again. This time, helping local restaurants and cities to develop outdoor dining spaces.
“What we’re seeing more success in are these private dining areas and street expansions," Ginter explained. "That’s where the largest market is.”
Their most recent build is at Craig's in West Hollywood. In addition to taking necessary precautions indoors — with glass partitions and distance markers — owner Craig Susser had hoped the area would help customers feel more comfortable.
“A dining experience is all about food, service, and atmosphere, and that’s our job," he said. "Our job is to also make sure you feel safe and secure.”
And while the space was originally seen as an addition to the restaurant, in the last week it has become all the more important. In the run-up to the July 4th holiday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that L.A. County restaurants, among others, would need to halt indoor operations once again.
For Choura Events, that decision made their jobs all the more necessary.
In addition to building areas for private owners, they have also designed parklets and street expansions in Long Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Laguna Beach.
“People are scared of being in a confined space, so I think it’s these outdoor areas that are really going to start taking off again," Ginter said.
The outdoor areas not only allow restaurants to bring in more added revenue, but they also help owners like Susser to continue bringing people together during a time that has been so hard on so many.
“[It's] something comfortable, something normal," Susser said, "in a world where everything is changing.”
“And that’s naturally what people do is come together," Ginter added. "And here at Choura Events we just continue to pivot and go in that direction.”