Beverly Hills Restaurant Apologizes for New Year's Eve Dinner Invites: 'No Harm Was Meant'

A restaurant in Beverly Hills, California has apologized for promoting a "discreet" indoor New Year's Eve dinner event amid the spike of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County.

La Scala, a celebrity hot spot that has been open for six and a half decades, recently came under fire after photos of their invitation to a "speakeasy"-style dinner on Thursday night were posted online.

The planned dinner appeared to violate L.A. County's latest stay-at-home order, which prohibits dining indoors and outdoors. The ruling was set to expire on Dec. 28, but is likely to be extended by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The invitation, written in formal cursive script, reads, “Welcome back to the 20’s Prohibition. We are currently taking reservations for New Year’s Eve dinner. Inside."

The message continues, "If this is something you're interested in please let us know as soon as possible. If enough interest we'll contact you back to secure a reservation. Please keep this discreet, but tell all your friends."

La Scala addressed the controversy in a lengthy statement on Instagram on Monday, thanking "the many people who have been supportive of us" before apologizing for the invitation.

"This is the message the note was meant to convey: With the dining ban set to expire on Dec. 28th, we are hopeful of resuming some sort of table service and we are considering taking reservations for New Year's Eve. If this is something you would be interested in, please let us know If allowed, and if there is enough interest, we'll contact you to secure a reservation," the restaurant wrote. "Unfortunately, the person that wrote it tried to add some levity and said inside instead of outside. It didn't come out as intended, how we wanted to be represented, nor how we wanted to represent ourselves. That was the intention."

"If you can find fault in that, there is nothing more we can say," the post continued. "No harm was meant. We have consistently taken the most drastic steps to ensure guest and employee safety. We simply wanted to ensure that our loyal guests and their friends had an opportunity to book a reservation should we be able to."

After offering their "sincere apologies" and condolences to anyone that has lost loved ones to COVID-19, La Scala said, "We cannot forget all the people that are losing their businesses. If everyone would turn their hate to love and direct it to people that need it instead of attacking small businesses trying to survive, that would be much better for their time."

Under L.A. County's stay-at-home order, enacted on Nov. 25, restaurants, as well as breweries, wineries and bars, are limited to only takeout and delivery — a restriction that has not been in place in Los Angeles since May.

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