Beverly Hills restaurant La Scala has been in the spotlight for the several days after reports surfaced of a “secret” invitation to indoor dining on New Year’s Eve. The invitations were distributed in the form of a note sent out with food delivery bags. Media reports and social media postings over the weekend have roundly criticized the move as an attempt to skirt the existing state and county prohibitions against in-person dining.

The Courier has obtained a response from La Scala, reprinted below:

“Regarding New Year’s Eve:

To begin with, we’d like to thank the many people who have been supportive of us for almost 65 years. You have believed in us and have continuously supported us through COVID-19 and now through this. Your messages of support have been received and appreciated more than you know.

Now to address the negative backlash:

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.

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. No harm was meant. We have consistently taken the most drastic steps to ensure guest and employee safety. The news sources keep focusing on “be discreet.” How is putting a note in bags being secretive? How discreet is “tell your friends.” We simply wanted to ensure that our loyal guests and their friends had an opportunity to book a reservation should we be able to serve.

We do want to offer our sincerest apologies and our hearts go out to everyone that has lost a loved one to COVID-19, whether it is from the actual disease, suicide, alcohol, domestic violence, drug overdoses or cancer deaths due to lack of treatment. And to the generation of children not going to school to receive the benefit of social interaction, school lunches and the quality of education they deserve. We cannot forget all the people that are losing their businesses. If everyone would turn their hate to love and direct it to the people that need it instead of attacking small businesses trying to survive, that would be a much better use of their time.

For almost 65 years, La Scala has prided itself on integrity. For the Public Information Officer of the City of Beverly Hills to release statements without talking to Management is shameful. We may be famous, but we are just a small restaurant doing the best we can in hard times and trying to help our employees support their families. We hope you continue to support us as well as other small businesses and restaurants. This is all we have to say on this matter.

Wishing everyone health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.

All the Best,

La Scala”

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