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Los Feliz Restaurant Fred62 Chooses Not To Reopen During Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Despite a lift on the ban of outdoor dining in Southern California by Governor Gavin Newsom, a restaurant in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz said it is still too risky to reopen, choosing to stay shut down instead.

Fred62 still has its patio furniture piled up inside the restaurant. The owners said Sunday they will not resume outdoor dining because they do not think it is safe enough, and they want to protect customers and staff. An employee has also tested positive for COVID-19, the owners added.

A manager for the restaurant told CBSLA Sunday that staying safe is a priority over money.

"My first reaction was, 'great we should get open so we can make some money and our staff can make some money,'" general manager Ian Hillian said. "But we were like 'wait a minute, the numbers are way worse now than they were when we first got locked down.'"

Hillian said 40 percent of the staff is still furloughed, but with dining capacity at 50 percent, per health regulations, they still would not be able to bring many employees back.

Hillian said the restaurant has not made a profit since last March, but will keep putting health before money until hospitalization and transmission rates in the county declined.

As one of the epicenters in the nation for coronavirus, Los Angeles County has seen nearly 16,700 deaths related to COVID-19.

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