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Beverly Hills Restaurant La Scala Calls NYE Dinner Party Controversy A Misunderstanding

BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) – An Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills that received backlash for allegedly promoting a New Year's Eve dinner party is calling the controversy a misunderstanding.

La Scala took to Instagram Monday to explain its side of the notes that were placed in customers' carryout bags.

The notes read:

"Welcome back to the 20s' Prohibition...We are currently taking reservations for New Year's Eve dinner. Inside. If this is something you'd be interested in, please let us know as soon as possible. If enough interest we'll contact you back to secure a reservation. Please keep this discreet, but tell all your friends."

In its Instagram post, La Scala claimed that it had been taking reservations for outdoor dining on New Year's Eve under the assumption that Southern California regional stay-at-home order, which bans outdoor dining, would expire on Dec. 28.

However, because of the crush of coronavirus cases, California Gov. Gavin Newsom indicated Monday that it's almost assured that the order will be extended.

Furthermore, the L.A. County Public Health Department announced over the weekend that it was indefinitely extending the county's own stay-at-home order, which closely mirrors California's, regardless of what state officials decide.

La Scala wrote on Instagram that the person who wrote the note was joking about serving dinner indoors.

"Unfortunately, the person that wrote it tried to add some levity and said inside instead of outside," La Scala wrote. "It didn't come out as intended, how we wanted to be represented, nor how we wanted to represent ourselves. That was the intention. If you can find fault in that, there is nothing more we can say. No harm was meant."

La Scala also alleged the note was not meant to imply a secret party.

"The news sources keep focusing on 'be discreet.' How is putting a note in bags being secretive? How discreet is 'tell your friends.'"

Beverly Hills officials had stepped in last week when word got out about the invitation social media.

"The city has made direct contact with representatives of La Scala (on Dec 24) to confirm the conditions of the County's Health Order," Beverly Hills Public Information Officer Keith Sterling said.

"We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for all of our businesses, however the County Order does currently prohibit indoor and outdoor dining, including in the City of Beverly Hills."

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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