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Kuehl Dines Out After Approving Ban on Dining Out
 

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By Jorge Casuso

December 1, 2020 -- Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl made national headlines on Monday when she dined at a Santa Monica restaurant hours after voting to ban dining out to help curb a surge in coronavirus cases.

After voting last Tuesday in a 3 to 2 decision to prohibit dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars, Kuehl was spotted eating at Il Forno Trattoria on Ocean Park Boulevard near her Santa Monica home.

In voting to impose the ban -- which took effect Wednesday at 10 p.m. -- Kuehl called dining out "a most dangerous situation" that puts people's lives at risk.

"It’s important to remember that these restaurants are the only business establishment where people can sit for hours without masks, while servers, who cannot maintain physical distance in order to take orders and serve food, are near them over and over," Kuehl wrote in a statement after her vote.

"Given the dire situation, I believe this was a necessary and responsible decision that places people's lives above all other considerations," she said.

"In the long run, we can bring back jobs and businesses, but we cannot bring back a human life."

After Fox 11 broke the story Monday, a spokesman for the Supervisor issued the following statement:

“She did dine al fresco at Il Forno on the very last day it was permissible. She loves Il Forno, has been saddened to see it, like so many restaurants, suffer from a decline in revenue.

"She ate there, taking appropriate precautions, and sadly will not dine there again until our Public Health Orders permit.”

Another statement from her office said, "Supervisor Kuehl has eaten at Il Forno virtually every night for many years."

In September, the California Restaurant Association reported that 1 in 3 restaurants said they would either close permanently or downsize by shutting down some of their locations.

After the latest restrictions were inposed by the Board of Supervisors, some of the County's 31,000 restaurant owners worried they won't survive the latest lockdown, according to media reports.

Among the restaurants that have closed in Santa Monica are the legendary Pacific Dining Car, a staple in the city for more than three decades, and Swingers, a popular late-night dining spot.

Other local restaurants that have closed are Dialogue, Ippudo Ramen and Haruchan, which opened last year.


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