This Long Beach restaurant owner refuses to close

Despite several citations from the City of Long Beach, the owner of Restauration said she will continue offering in-person outdoor dining.

Thursday, January 21, 2021
EMBED <>More Videos

Despite several citations from the City of Long Beach, the owner of Restauration said she will continue offering in-person outdoor dining.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Dana Tanner is the owner of Restauration, a restaurant in the Bluff Heights neighborhood of Long Beach that remains open for outdoor dining.

"We're here to make food for people. I'm here to keep people employed and I'm here to pay my bills," Tanner said. "If I can do that safely, and I know in my heart I can, like, I will."

Los Angeles County reissued an outdoor dining ban in late November after a spike of Covid 19 cases in Southern California. Tanner said that she decided to offer in-person dining on the restaurant's back patio in defiance of that order, on December 7.

"I talked to my team members and I said, 'Are you comfortable with this? What do you want to do?' and the overwhelming response was, 'Yes, I want to do this,'" Tanner said.

Tanner's restaurant shut down in 2018 due to a fire. She reopened in November 2019.

"I wasn't going to, for the third time in two years, put people out of work again," Tanner said.

Tanner said that she received two citations from the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services in early January and a Notice of Closure.

"We kept everything spaced out, we kept the policies the same," Tanner said. "I'm making the choice to be open. I'm not breaking laws and I'm supporting my team."

But the City of Long Beach doesn't agree.

In a statement to ABC7, Long Beach spokesperson Kevin Lee said Tanner is one citation away from a water shutoff and the case is being reviewed by the City Prosecutor for potential misdemeanor charges "for continued flagrant violations of the City's Safer at Home Order."

"Their health permit to operate as a restaurant has been suspended, which means that they cannot operate, including for take-out or delivery," the statement also said.

The small business owner claimed that she and her employees have received serious threats from the public.

"I have had death threats. My servers have been threatened. People call here and go like, 'I hope you have fire insurance because you're going to get firebombed,' or 'I hope you die of COVID.'"

ABC7 reached out to the City of Long Beach to see if there have been any COVID-19 cases traced back to Restauration, but have not yet received a response.

Tanner said that she called for a meeting with other local restaurant owners to share her experience defying the city's health order.

"I respect people who want to stay home and I respect people who want to go out and safely dine out or safely do other activities," Tanner said. "I believe that we all have free agency to assess our own health and act responsibly."

Follow Rachel on social media: