Restaurant Owner Breaks Down, ‘We Cannot Survive’


Samantha Antil, Digital Editor

State shutdowns have helped slow the spread of the coronavirus and arguably save thousands of lives—but this is not to say they’ve come without their own problems. Just earlier this week, a restaurant owner in Los Angeles, California called out Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom, claiming that they are responsible for “all the businesses that are going under” in the state and calling out their supposed hypocrisy. 

The restaurant owner, Angela Marsden, spoke out in a video (which can be found here) that quickly gained traction on social media. In the clip, Marsden explains that while on her way to gather supplies for a protest against recent state restrictions, she was faced with multiple tents set up in a lot abutting her restaurant, placed there by a film company.  

“…I walk into my parking lot—and obviously Mayor Garcetti has approved—this… being set up for a movie company,” said Marsden, as the camera shifts to show multiple large tents and tables. Marsden was forced to shut down her restaurant, the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, due to the city’s COVID restrictions. And as the video continues, the restaurant owner’s own setup is revealed, and is seen to be significantly smaller than the company’s.

“Tell me that this is dangerous,” Marsden said, pointing to her own setup and then turning to face the company’s, “but right next to me, as a slap in my face, that’s safe.”

Marsden explains that neither she nor her staff can survive with these restrictions in place, and points out the apparent hypocrisy in the application of the restrictions. And she’s not alone in this sentiment. Across the United States, small businesses are forced to shut down, some in spite of having enacted the necessary precautions. Restaurants have been taking large hits from the start of the pandemic, with limited seating and hours, if they’re allowed to open at all. And with the winter season fast approaching, many owners feel lost, as in many states—like Massachusetts—the cold weather eliminates the possibility of outdoor seating. 

This is further exemplified in certain states, as again in Massachusetts, Governor Baker has put in place a statewide curfew which mandates that restaurants must close to the public at 9:30 p.m. and have all customers off the premises by 10 p.m. 

Said by Bob Luz, the CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, “Shutting down restaurants down early doesn’t stop people from gathering.” 

Guidelines change from state to state, and people across the country are standing by to see what the next steps amidst the virus will be.