Los Angeles

Get Ready for Indoor Concerts, Theater, Outdoor Bars and More as LA Reopens This Spring

Plus, LA County advances to the orange tier and the return of indoor gatherings.

Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood Bowl

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, April 6, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state plans to reopen its economy on June 15. In a press release statement, Governor Newsom credited the state reaching a recent milestone of surpassing 20 million vaccine doses administered, including 4 million administered in areas that were most hard hit by the pandemic.

“We can now begin planning for our lives post-pandemic,” Newsom said, emphasizing that, “We will need to remain vigilant, and continue the practices that got us here–wearing masks and getting vaccinated–but the light at the end of this tunnel has never been brighter.”

In order for California to reopen its economy on June 15, it must meet the criteria of having a vaccine supply sufficient for Californians ages 16 and older who wish to be inoculated, and maintain low and stable hospital rates. This reopening phase will apply to the entire state, though hospitalization rates, vaccine access and efficacy will continue to be monitored, and contact tracing and testing will also continue, with the option to revise the June 15 date if needed. If all goes according to plan, everyday activities and businesses can resume with common-sense measures to reduce transmission, including mandated masking and encouraging all Californians to get vaccinated. When the state’s economy fully reopens, California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy will come to an end.

This news comes on the heels of LA County’s recent advancement into the orange tier of California’s four-tiered Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan for reopening. This represents the most progress that the county has made in the yearlong COVID pandemic, though Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer was quick to caution residents, advising them to continue employing the practices that help keep them and others safe, including social distancing, washing hands frequently, wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, and getting vaccinated as soon as eligible.

“Our numbers have improved dramatically, but we cannot let up,” Ferrer said in a press release statement. “While we are making good progress with vaccination efforts, we have about a dozen more weeks before we can expect to reach 80% vaccine coverage for people 16 and older… Following these safety measures is the only way we can avoid taking a step back on our recovery journey.”

Perhaps most notably, the newest order allows for the reopening of outdoor service for bars that do not provide meals, though visits are limited to 90 minutes and live entertainment and television viewing are not permitted. Hours of operation are limited to between 11:30 am and 10 pm.

Other changes include the allowance for breweries, wineries, and distilleries that do not serve meals to open for indoor service, with reservations required and limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. No live entertainment or television viewing is permitted indoors.

Restaurants can now expand indoor dining to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less. On the entertainment side of things, movie theatres can increase capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less; family entertainment centres can open indoors at 25% capacity for distanced activities like bowling and escape rooms, although masks are still required; and museums, zoos, and aquariums may also open indoors at 50% capacity. In addition, amusement parks, outdoor live events, and outdoor professional sporting events are permitted with safety measures, including occupancy limits, distancing, masking, and eating and drinking requirements.

And just ahead of what would be festival season, the state of California announced that indoor concerts, theatres, and other private gatherings can resume as of April 15. The number of attendees will depend on the type of gathering as well as which tier the county in question is currently occupying. Since LA County is currently in the orange tier that indicates moderate spread of the virus, the following restrictions apply to these types of gatherings:

  • For social, informal gatherings without a defined guest list and no requirement of COVID testing or vaccination: outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people maximum and indoor gatherings are strongly discouraged, though they are allowed with modifications.
  • For private events such as meetings, receptions, and conferences: a defined guest list is required and/or tickets must be purchased in advance, a seating chart/assigned seating is required, and requiring testing or vaccinations can increase capacity. For example, an outdoor gathering of this type would normally be limited to 100 people, but may increase to 300 if all guests are tested or show proof of vaccination. COVID testing or proof of vaccination is also required for an indoor gathering of this type, in which case the capacity is a maximum of 150 people.
  • For live events and performances where guests are seated indoors: only in-state visitors are permitted to attend, a weekly testing program for workers must be in place, all tickets must be purchased in advance and delivered digitally, and eating/drinking is only allowed in pre-designated areas, not in seats. Venues that hold up to 1,500 guests are allowed a maximum of 15% capacity or 200 people, or 35% capacity if all guests are tested or show proof of vaccination.

In response to this news, the Greek Theatre announced plans to reopen on May 30, with a performance from Madness with the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. The Hollywood Bowl’s next concert remains a bit further off, with Daryl Hall and John Oates scheduled to perform on October 1. East of Los Angeles, the Same Same But Different festival plans to host its next iteration at Perris Beach in Lake Perris State Park, this fall from September 9 to September 12. Stay tuned as venues continue to share their plans for reopening and add new concert dates to their calendars.

After more than a year of adhering to fluctuating restrictions and with summer well on its way, many Angelenos are eager to resume their social lives in whatever fashion they’re able. Just remember to follow the advice of public health experts and stick to the practices that have helped reduce our numbers and kept us safe as we as all look forward to the day that this pandemic is finally in our rearview mirror.

For additional information on California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy and the various restrictions for activities and businesses under each tier, click here.

Danielle Dorsey is the Los Angeles Editor at Thrillist.

Los Angeles

8 LA Fundraisers that Support Abortion Rights and Reproductive Justice

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision, LA businesses and organizations are stepping up to raise money and support reproductive justice for all.

Matt Gush/Shutterstock
Matt Gush/Shutterstock
Matt Gush/Shutterstock

As Beyoncé’s talented sister Solange once sang, “I got a lot to be mad about.” At the top of that growing list is the Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for states to regulate abortion. Since the ruling, abortion is now illegal in states like Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kentucky, while others like Utah, Idaho, and Missouri, have signaled plans to ban or create significant barriers to accessing abortion services.

Many are outraged by this decision, which is certain to disproportionately impact low-income and BIPOC communities. Protests have erupted in cities across the country and legal battles are already underway in attempts to counteract the ruling. Many are calling for the Supreme Court to be reformed, calling into question other recent decisions, including a ruling that limited the federal government’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants.

Those in California are lucky to be protected by a state constitution where abortion is recognized as an individual right, with Governor Newsom recently vowing to continue to safeguard these rights, as well as women who travel west for reproductive care. But just because we don’t currently have to worry about our reproductive rights being stripped doesn’t mean that we can’t step up and provide support for those who are in the thick of these struggles. From donating to on-the-ground activism, there are plenty of ways to get involved in the national fight to protect abortion care and access for all.

LA’s hospitality industry is doing just that, providing plenty of delicious and fun opportunities to stand up for reproductive rights and abortion care, including food pop-ups, bake sales, wine and mezcal tastings, shopping deals, and more.

Satisfy your munchies at a stoner food pop-up

Ongoing
Genever, Historic Filipinotown
One of our favourite bars in LA right now, women-owned Genever is hosting a weekly Friday pop-up with food from Bodega that they describe as Asian Stoner Food. Every pop-up donates 50% of proceeds to a rotating reproductive rights organization.
Cost: Varies

Photo courtesy of Local Angeles
Photo courtesy of Local Angeles
Photo courtesy of Local Angeles

Order a Westside Cocktail

Ongoing throughout July
Winston House, Venice Beach
Each month, the team at Winston House, a lively supper club off the Venice Boardwalk, donates $1 from every sale of their Westside Cocktail to a different charity. In June, they donated proceeds to The Trevor Project and for July, they’re donating to the National Network of Abortions Funds. The cocktail is made with butterfly pea- and cucumber-infused Future Gin, lime juice, and mint syrup.
Cost: $15

Photo courtesy of Madre
Photo courtesy of Madre
Photo courtesy of Madre

Sip on women-made mezcals at Madre Restaurant

Ongoing from July 11 for four weeks
West Hollywood, Torrance, and Palms
Get an education in mezcal while supporting women with a special mezcal flight curated by owner Ivan Vasquez, featuring women-owned or produced brands. Dubbed Her Mezcal, the flight includes a one-ounce pour of Real Minero, Agua Del Sol, and Rezpiral, available for $45 beginning Monday, July 11, with 10% of the net sales from each flight going to the National Network of Abortion Funds. And if you buy a bottle of one of the three featured brands, Madre will donate 10% of those sales, too.
Cost: $45

@vanillabeansanddaydreams
@vanillabeansanddaydreams
@vanillabeansanddaydreams

Bakers Against Racism: Bake Sale For Reproductive Justice

Saturday, July 17
These Hands Makers Collective, Culver City
Launched during April 2020 as a pop-up, Bakers Against Racism is a social community “connecting bakers and creatives all across the globe to fight against racism in all of its forms.” On Saturday, July 17 from 11 am to 3 pm, they’re firing up their ovens to raise money and awareness for reproductive justice, with all sorts of treats and desserts available for sale, including cookies, pies, cakes, pastries, traditional Southern desserts, gluten-free and vegan options, and more. All proceeds will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds. Bakers who are interested in joining the sale can reach out to LA lead @winterfatebakes on Instagram.
Cost: Free to participate, baked goods vary.

Photo by Jenny Caloca, courtesy of Vinovere
Photo by Jenny Caloca, courtesy of Vinovere
Photo by Jenny Caloca, courtesy of Vinovere

Taste natural, women-made wines with Vinovore

Saturday, July 23
Virtual tasting
Woman- and LGBTQ-owned Vinovore stocks predominantly small-batch, natural, and woman-produced labels in its Virgil Village and Eagle Rock wine shops. On Saturday, July 23 at 5 pm, they’ll host a WINEsplaining event over Zoom, which includes two bottles of natural, women-made wine that attendees can enjoy as they discuss tasting notes with owner Coly Den Haan. All proceeds will be donated to The National Network of Abortion Funds. Register online and wines will be ready for pick-up, shipping, or delivery the week before the tasting, with the Zoom link sent the day before.
Cost: $75

Join a community bake sale for reproductive rights

Saturday, July 23
The Oinkster, Eagle Rock
Over in East LA, chef Andre Guerrero is opening up the patio to local bakers for a massive community bake sale, with proceeds benefiting Planned Parenthood, Plan C Pills, and Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project. And since you’re there, you might as well grab a stacked Frito Pie burger, a house-cured Pastrami Sandwich, or some Chili Fries. For more info and to participate, reach out to chef Kristi Descher on Instagram.
Cost: Free to participate, baked goods vary.

Photo courtesy of Botanica
Photo courtesy of Botanica
Photo courtesy of Botanica

Snag a cute tee from Botanica

Ongoing
Purchase online
Women-owned restaurant and market Botanica is selling their five-year anniversary tee that’s made in collaboration by LA’s Lamero Studio. The shirt features a “vegetables in space” design created by bar manager and artist, Ryan Halie Gossett. All profits from the shirts benefit the National Network of Abortion Funds.
Cost: $45

Photo courtesy of Helen's Wines x The Goods Mart
Photo courtesy of Helen’s Wines x The Goods Mart
Photo courtesy of Helen’s Wines x The Goods Mart

Order a summer snack box filled with women-owned treats

Ongoing
Purchase online
Another one of our favourite women-owned natural wine shops in LA, Helen’s Wines teamed up with NYC’s The Goods Mart for a summer snack box featuring female-founded brands, including Azziah’s Herbal Green Popcorn, Magic Dates Salted Walnut Brownie, Moonshot Sourdough Crackers, and a bottle of natural rosé from women producers, chosen by founder Helen Johannesen and her team, and rotating with each box. Even better, 50% of proceeds from the box will be donated to the Women’s Reproductive Right’s Assistance Project, the largest national, independent, nonprofit abortion fund providing urgently-needed financial assistance to individuals seeking abortion services or emergency contraception nationwide.
Cost: $75

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Danielle Dorsey is the West Coast Editor at Thrillist.

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