Outdoor dining still an option at 1 LA restaurant

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Alex Jordan stands outside his restaurant, Eat at Joe’s, in Redondo Beach. His decision to drape a tarp advertising his diner as The French Laundry has ignited a fierce debate over a ban on outdoor dining in Los Angeles County. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb.

Rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have forced LA County officials to scale back reopening plans for local businesses. Until at least mid-December, restaurants will be barred from offering outdoor dining, a service that has been allowed since last summer. Most restaurateurs have complied, albeit reluctantly. 

But Alex Jordan, owner of Eat at Joe’s in Redondo Beach, has decided to keep his patio open. His decision has become a rallying cry for critics of both Governor Gavin Newsom and LA County’s elected leadership in their handling of the pandemic. It is also the latest inflection point in LA concerning what to do about the pandemic moving forward.