Jeffrey Merrihue had just finished installing $80,000 worth of dining booths on the street outside his informal Italian eatery blocks away from the Pacific Ocean when word came down that Los Angeles county was instituting a three-week ban on outdoor dining.
Not only was he not amused – he thought the decision was misguided and desperately unfair.
“Are you kidding me?” Merrihue said, sitting in one of the booths that the city of Santa Monica encouraged him to build on a line of metered parking spots. “I have to close outdoor dining, while people are mobbing indoor malls? When