Gutpunch! Tearful owner watches L.A. restaurant die, while dining on movie set across street is approved

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The owner of a restaurant in a Los Angeles neighborhood blasted Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom for banning outdoor dining while allowing a movie company to feed staffers outside.

In a viral video, Angela Marsden, owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks, tearfully and angrily denounced both Democrats for shutting down her outdoor patio dining area — as well as all other restaurants in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities — due to COVID-19.

To open the video, Marsden explains that she came to her restaurant to get some things for a protest she organized for this weekend when she saw that a movie company had set up large patio-style dining areas very similar to her set-up just 50 feet or so away.

“So this is my place, the Pineapple Hill Grill & Saloon. If you go to my [Facebook] page you can see all the work I did for outdoor dining, for tables being seven feet apart,” she says.

“And I come in today because I’m organizing a protest and I came in to get stuff for that. And I walk into my parking lot — and obviously Mayor Garcetti has approved … this,” she added, pointing to several tents and dining tables. “Has approved this being set up for … this being set up for … for a movie company.”

“I’m losing everything. Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio, which is right over here,” Marsden says, her voice cracking with emotion. “And people wonder why I’m protesting and why I have had enough.

“They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive, my staff cannot survive,” she added, tearfully.

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“Look at this. Tell me that this is dangerous,” she said, pointing to her own outdoor patio dining area, “but right next to me, as a slap in my face, that’s safe. This is safe? Fifty feet away?

“This is dangerous. Mayor Garcetti and Gavin Newsom [are] responsible for every single person that doesn’t have unemployment, that does not have a job, and all the businesses that are going under,” Marsden — who has set up a GoFundMe page — says angrily.

“We need your help. We need somebody to do something about this,” she said as the video concludes.

A ban on outdoor dining issued by Los Angeles County was blocked by a Superior Court judge on Wednesday who ruled that officials have to present convincing scientific evidence to justify their action, which was supposed to go into effect for three weeks, Fox News reported.

“We were successful in Los Angeles Superior Court today, where the judge agreed that LA County must show cause for its order to ban outdoor dining,” the California Restaurant Association tweeted on Wednesday.

But the county victory didn’t matter much; Garcetti issued a stay-at-home order on the same day, which was also widely panned by residents and others.

That said, Newsom said Thursday that four of California’s five regions were on pace to have fewer than 15 percent of ICU beds available in regional hospitals, which would automatically trigger new restrictions in those areas as well.

That means all bars, restaurants, barbershops and hair salons, casinos, and other businesses would be required to shut down.

But Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he would not target individual businesses under the city’s and the state’s orders, saying his department would focus primarily on so-called “super-spreader events.”

In vowing to “stay away from business” already under great financial strain thanks to months’ worth of coronavirus-related closures and restrictions, Villanueva said the new rules were formulated and issued without any input from law enforcement.

“I want to stay away from business [sic] that are trying to comply,” he told FOX-LA correspondent Bill Melugin. “They bent over backwards to modify their operations to conform to these orders and then they have the rug yanked out from under them. That’s a disservice. I don’t want to make them more miserable.”

Jon Dougherty

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