You can once again “Eat at Joes.”
The popular Redondo Beach diner, which defied countywide health orders in December, opens for breakfast Saturday, Jan. 30, at 6 a.m. and owner Alex Jordan is banking on a brisk reopening to stay in business.
Jordan, by phone on Friday, said he waited for the threat of rain and wind to pass before opening.
“That’s why we didn’t open today,” Jordan said, as he shooed customers away looking for a meal out. “We just decided that we’ll open tomorrow when the weather is more conducive.”
Of the closures paired with bad weather, Jordan said, “what more could go wrong?”
Like most restaurant owners, Jordan’s had a tough time of it.
In December, he continued to seat people and serve customers under a tent in his parking lot and at tables set up on the sidewalk even though the county had banned all in-person dining in an effort to stop the slow of the coronavirus.
His actions prompted an order to close from health officials, a $500 fine and a subsequent hearing with the health department. At the time of the visit, Jordan said he was serving only takeout food, but customers ignored signage and sat down at outdoor tables. The health inspector ordered the restaurant closed anyway.
Then, in a storm a couple weeks ago, the wind tore the top right off his outdoor tent. He’s now on his second tent, he said, and he’s keeping fingers crossed there are no more gusts with this current storm.
But the most important thing, said Jordan, is that his employees get to return to work. He’s bringing back about nine or 10 of the 25 people he had back in March before the pandemic.
Jordan is thankful he’s able to open again, and he’s counting on the continued support from the community.
“We have to be busy from the jump,” said Jordan. “We are in a deep hole financially and there’s not too much margin for error here.”
The lifting of the regional stay-at-home order, which paved the way for outdoor dining again, said Jordan, was politically motivated. The coronavirus case count, he said, continued to increase and “really hadn’t changed that much” before Gov. Gavin Newsom took action.
“If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a politician,” Jordan said.
And what about the French Laundry sign that Jordon ironically hung out front last month to poke fun at Gov. Newsom’s faux pas of attending an indoor event at the famous Bay Area restaurant?
“Oh, that’s being covered up tomorrow with a sign that says, ‘We’re Open. We’re Back,’” said Jordan.