After seven long months, breweries and wineries in Los Angeles County have been given the green light to reopen if they partner with a third-party food provider.
County Department of Public Health officials released a revised health officer order this week, authorizing breweries and wineries without in-house kitchens to reopen for outdoor sit-down service as long as they partner with a permitted caterer, restaurant or food truck.
The reopening guidelines come with restrictions similar to those being asked of restaurants, though the revised language most notably requires that alcohol be purchased in the same transaction as a “bona fide meal.”
These “bona fide meals” would be considered a legitimate meal, prepackaged food, such as sandwiches or salads, or heated frozen or prepared meals, while appetizers and snacks do not qualify as a “meal,” per Public Health’s guidelines.
Operating hours for the breweries and wineries are limited to between 11:30 a.m. and midnight.
One other notable restriction is the requirement of customers to make “a prior reservation for a table at least one day in advance” to ensure there is no gathering and there is sufficient area for physical distancing of 6 feet or more.
Customers also must be seated at a table to be served and must wear a cloth face covering whenever not eating or drinking.
The past week has been marked by a series of business reopening announcements, with breweries and wineries joined by card rooms, nail salons, indoor malls and playgrounds.
“In general with each reopening, as businesses start to implement the protocols, sometimes it does take some time for them to get (protocols) accurate and correct and adhere to everything that’s in (the health order),” county Public Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said during a media briefing Thursday. “So we’re hoping that the businesses that do open up with these new reopenings really do pay attention to and adhere to all of the requirements inside of the protocol. It’s what makes it safer for the employees, as well as (customers).”
Bars across the county remain closed, except in Long Beach, which has its own public health department and this week also allowed them to reopen outdoor operations if partnered with a third-party food provider.
Here in the Santa Clarita Valley, many of the local breweries and wineries have begun plans for their reopenings, with most set to reopen this weekend, including Double Trouble Wine Room in Newhall, which planned to reopen Thursday.
“We are super excited to be open,” co-owner Doug Minnick said. “We’re lucky to have a very large outdoor patio and new front sidewalk cafe seating, which allows people to be really comfortable there and safely spread out.”
Down the street at Pulchella Winery, co-owner and winemaker Steve Lemley said they are also excited to reopen.
“Although we do not currently have a date for expanded operations at the tasting room, we are working very hard to ensure we can do so as soon as possible,” Lemley said. “We miss our extended family and want to make sure we are doing everything we can for their safety and offer them the best experience we can.”
Here’s a list of some of the local businesses that have begun to schedule their reopenings this weekend:
* Pocock Brewery: 2-10 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
* Teleco Brewery: Next weekend, check social media for updates.
* Wolf Creek Brewery: 4-9 p.m. Friday; 2-7 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
* Agua Dulce Winery: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
* Double Trouble Wine Room: 5-10 p.m. Friday; 2-10 p.m. Saturday; 2-6 p.m. Sunday.
* Pulchella Winery: Soon, check social media for updates.
* Reyes Winery: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.