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HOLLYWOOD, CA – A judge on Wednesday denied a motion by the Classic Cat owners for an injunction allowing eating on the terrace of the restaurant they are entertaining. It is adequately ventilated to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus and is critical to keeping business operations running.
The owners say the patio has a retractable roof that creates COVID-safe alfresco dining at the West Hollywood restaurant and that they have also added numerous protective measures, including improvements to plexiglass and ventilation.
County lawyers alleged the terrace did not meet county standards for al fresco dining.
Santa Monica Supreme Court Justice Elaine W. Mandel said that while restaurant owners presented strong evidence that they could get out of business without having dinner on the patio, they did not provide anyone with the expertise to show that the terrace was adequately ventilated.
The judge wrote that the Los Angeles County Department of Health alleged that allowing eating at Classic Cat “could cause serious harm to the public and an increased risk of spreading COVID-19.”
She noted that the county’s health ordinance allows restaurant takeaway and delivery, but the owners claim those options are not economically sufficient and that the county’s policies are “evolving” and weren’t revised until Monday.
The historic Classic Cat was a hugely popular stopover for locals and tourists, as well as celebrities such as the late Adam West, Charlton Heston and Jim Morrison, and Chevy Chase. Classic Cat’s modern owners say they wanted to build on that legacy but with an upscale feel and menu.