Growing number of Los Angeles restaurants, bars requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Bars and restaurant owners are taking matters into their own hands with COVID-19 spreading more easily and cases rising across the country.

Several businesses in the Los Angeles area are now requiring proof of vaccination before you get in the door.

Paul Kalt is the owner of The Conservatory in West Hollywood. Last week, the restaurant started requiring vaccination proof or a negative test result in the last 72 hours. The restaurant posted a notice at the entrance and on its website.

"We know it's not a popular decision with everybody," Kalt said. "Ultimately though, we had to see what was best for ourselves, our staff and our guests."

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A growing number of restaurants and bars are following suit. Places like Harlowe's and the Formosa in West Hollywood, Osteria la Buca in Sherman Oaks and Tramp Stamp Granny's in Hollywood.

But making the move does come at a cost. The pandemic has been devastating for the restaurant and bar industry, so potentially turning customers away is not an easy choice.

"For sure we feel a little dent in the numbers," Kalt said. "We had to turn down some people that walked by and generally they've been very understanding."

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Kalt says his restaurant's COVID protocol hasn't caused any confrontations, just a handful of complaints on Yelp.

With COVID-19 infection rates surging in L.A. County, he's hoping even more places will be adding vaccine requirements, even though doing so can be costly.

"I had a few sleepless nights," Kalt said. "But really to be honest, at this point I really do think it's the right thing to do."

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