La Scala Says New Year's Eve Party Was Only Intended if Dining Ban Lifted

BEVERLY HILLS (CNS) - La Scala in Beverly Hills is doing some damage control regarding a note telling customers about a planned New Year's Eve dining party inside the restaurant.

Managers of the gourmet Italian eatery at 434 N. Canon Dr. now say they never intended to violate state health orders that prohibit in-person dining amid the recent surge in coronavirus cases, and insist the note was merely worded poorly.

The notes were recently placed in carry-out bags and made reference to a “speakeasy''-style party. A copy of the invitation posted on Twitter, written in cursive script, said: “Welcome back to the 20s' Prohibition. ... We are currently taking reservations for New Year's Eve dinner. Inside.

“If this is something you'd be 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.''

On Monday, the restaurant said the “inside'' part was just a joke, and the party was always contingent on state officials lifting the non-dining order before New Year's Eve.

“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,'' La Scala posted on Instagram. “If this is something you would be interested in, please let us know. If allowed, and if there's enough interest, we'll contact you to secure a reservation.

“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. ... If you can find fault in that, there is nothing more we can say. No harm was meant.''

Beverly Hills officials had stepped in last week when word got out about the invitation social media.

“The city has made direct contact with representatives of La Scala (on Dec 24) to confirm the conditions of the County's Health Order,'' Beverly Hills Public Information Officer Keith Sterling said.

“We understand this is an incredibly difficult time for all of our businesses, however the County Order does currently prohibit indoor and outdoor dining, including in the City of Beverly Hills.''

The city's police department also said it was aware of the plans.

“Thank you for tagging the BHPD. Beverly Hills Code Enforcement is aware and will be handling this matter,'' the department tweeted on Friday.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California's Health and Human Services secretary, is expected to announce Tuesday that the stay-at-home order for Southern California, including the ban on in-person dining, will be extended into the new year, as the region's ICU bed capacity officially remains at 0%.

Photo: Getty Images

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