Coronavirus Takes A Toll On Local Breweries
One of Palmdale’s most popular brewhouses, Transplants Brewing, is threatening the County of Los Angeles with a major lawsuit in hopes of forcing officials to permit the brewery to open with outdoor food services just like other restaurants, wineries, and bars. The sticking point with the County is the issue of “on-site” kitchens. The potential lawsuit alleges the County’s order that requires food to be prepared on-site as a condition of reopening for all County establishments violates Transplant’s rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
The County of Los Angeles has put in numerous orders to protect the public from COVID-19, as has the State of California. California allowed businesses to reopen somewhat, issuing an order allowing bars and breweries to resume operations as long as these businesses also served food. The state’s order allowed breweries to contract with outside vendors to serve dine-in meals if they operated outdoors.
However, the county issued its own, far more restrictive order, which contradicted the state’s order by prohibiting breweries from contracting with third-party vendors (such as food trucks) to provide food. The result has been financially catastrophic as Transplants and other breweries county-wide have had their businesses severely limited.
The PARRIS Law Firm argues that the County has gone too far with overreaching restrictions that create a completely unnecessary distinction regarding where the food is prepared. The complaint states this is a clear violation of the brewery’s 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection as well as the Takings Clause under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
The PARRIS Law Firm wrote a demand letter to the County arguing the order also allows the Los Angeles Department of Public Health to arbitrarily discriminate between the types of food included in the same transaction as the alcohol sold.
The food & beverage industry has been in complete freefall in Los Angeles since the COVID-19 restrictions began. The Los Angeles Controller’s office put out a running tally stating the City has lost more than 50,000 jobs in the food service industry alone due to these restrictions. The County’s overreach only adds to the serious financial pain at a time when Angelinos everywhere are struggling.