As COVID crisis grows, many California businesses flout the rules

In North Park the circa-1938 diner Rudford’s is on the precipice of permanent closure, said owner Jeff Kasha. As a result, he said, he plans to reopen indoor dining Saturday.

“I don’t think we can survive another shutdown, so we have to defy,” he said.

“We didn’t have Christmas,” Kasha added. “I didn’t buy my kids presents.”

For business owners like Kasha and Gruber, the financial fallout is real. The California Restaurant Association said in August that thousands of restaurants had closed permanently, and 900,000 to 1 million restaurant workers had been laid off or furloughed since March.