Restaurant, bar owners protest LA County outdoor dining ban at home of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Restaurant and bar owners gathered outside the home of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in Santa Monica Saturday afternoon to protest the closure of outdoor dining across the county.

The protest came after some controversy erupted earlier in the week when Kuehl was seen dining outside at a restaurant just hours after voting to eliminate outdoor dining.

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On the same day she warned about the dangers of eating at restaurants and voted to support the shutdown of in-person dining in Los Angeles County, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl dined at a restaurant in Santa Monica.

Even if the county were to reverse that order, California's new regional stay-at-home order banning outdoor dining, among other things, is set to take effect across Southern California at 11:59 p.m. Sunday for at least the next three weeks.

The group chanted "Reopen! Reopen!" outside Kuehl's home while holding signs containing messages to let the businesses open back up again.

"They yank us back and forth. They don't give us any warning that they're going to shut down," said Camila Dizon, owner of The Oaks Tavern in Sherman Oaks. "All of a sudden we have all of these bills that we can't pay because they tell us the day of the shutdown that you can't work anymore."

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Amid a surge in coronavirus cases, California's new health order went into effect on Saturday afternoon, and a regional stay-at-home order was triggered for Southern California.

The business owners say they feel they are being targeted and blamed for the surge in COVID-19 cases without any scientific proof that outdoor dining causes more spread of the virus.

They argue that outdoor dining in a controlled environment keeps people from gathering indoors in private homes.
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