Two restaurants in Palm Desert were cited yesterday by The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for defying state orders. Both restaurants on El Paseo had diners outside at the time of inspection, NBC Palm Springs spoke to the alcoholic beverage control and has reaction from local patrons.
Since July 1st, The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has made over 116,000 site visits. Of those visits, only a handful have been cited.
“There have been approximately 155 citations written. We have filed accusations against some businesses that did not heed the warnings,” said John Carr, Public Information Officer with California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.”
Two of the restaurants that were issued citations include Armando’s Bar and Grill and JC’s Cafe on El Paseo. Both restaurants did not want to talk on camera, but patrons did come to their defense calling this situation unfair.
“Very unfair, now if we are talking about the chains with millions of dollars in the bank that’s fine. But we’re talking about a family business using their family funds. We’re talking a week before Christmas, and they need the money for their Christmas and were closing them down, I just don’t agree with it, I think it’s unfair,” said Frank Seringa, resident of Indio.
“This is a wonderful little restaurant trying to make a living, and with outside dining, and for us not to be able to allowed to come here doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make any sense to any of the people around here,” said Glenn Bjorklund, Palm Desert Resident.
When making these visits there are three parts of compliance that ABC is looking for
“Is there inside and outside dining right now, what is the situation regarding face-coverings of employees who work in that particular business who are serving the public, and then, what does the social distancing look like,” explained Carr.
Palm Desert City Council has a special meeting is scheduled for December 22nd to bring business into compliance with health orders.
“At least go-to outdoor dining, a lot of these people have made special things with tents and special seating outdoors, but they lost everything now, it’s just not fair. and I’m very impressed with our palm desert city council and I think they’ll come to the right decision,” added Bjorklund.
“We know it’s rough, we understand this is very very difficult, but there is a deadly virus, and there are health orders in effect and so the department will continue to make the visits and take and educational first and hope we can work things out that way,” said Carr.