Orange County restaurants could get a boost from LA County's dining ban

While L.A. County is about to ban in-person dining, that measure may actually help boost business for restaurants just across the county border.
SEAL BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- While Los Angeles County is about to ban in-person dining, that measure may actually help boost business for restaurants just across the county border.

Nancy Boster and her friends come to Seal Beach from Whittier for its small town charm by the sea.

For Boster, it's a break from teaching all week on Zoom.

"To be able to step away from the computer and get out and get fresh air, do some walking and be able to sit down and have a meal with friends is everything nowadays," Boster said.

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It'll be even more critical after Wednesday night, when a three-week outdoor dining prohibition kicks in for L.A. County.

That makes Orange County border towns like Seal Beach one of the closest places to dine out for Taylor Griley of Long Beach. Griley said he doesn't cook much and with his mom Cynthia Griley, in Seal Beach, he would likely stop by more often.

"Honestly, I thought that L.A. County was already closed down, and my mom is here," Taylor Griley said. "I'm going to be coming a lot here to eat out."

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"It's good for our restaurants here and all the other businesses, because there's lots of little shops in Seal Beach, so let's hope we don't shut down too," Cynthia Griley said.

That's Rob Jahncke's hope too. Losing his patio at his L.A. County coffee shop means relying more on business at his Javatinis in O.C.

As president of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, Jahncke knows he is one of the lucky ones.

"We're just doing what we can. It's really tough. I mean, I just count my blessing that I have a coffee shop as opposed to a restaurant because they're getting hit really hard," Jahncke said.

Seal Beach is allowing for outdoor dining setups. Main Street is still open to vehicle traffic so space is limited.

Jahncke said the $1,000 grants the county was offering to enhance outdoor dining capacity have been very helpful, especially with days getting colder, restaurant owners were using them to purchase outdoor heaters.
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