Shopper and Diner collage

Here’s your weekly rundown of Eastside dining and shopping news.

The popularity of bread-making during the shelter-in-place order has triggered a shortage of yeast, CBS2 News reports. But when there’s a will there’s a way, and folks are flocking to local businesses to purchase the key bread-making ingredient. One such business is Zweet Cafe in Eagle Rock. The owner of the cafe says that she stocks the type of instant yeast that can hold half of its shelf-life in the refrigerator. 

Free meals prepared by local restaurants will be delivered to 2,000 families from Lincoln Heights to Westlake who are suffering financially due to COVID-19, according to the office of First District Councilmember Gil Cedillo. Launched Monday, the Free Meal Program is scheduled to last four to six weeks, providing a total of about 35,000 meals. Food is being delivered only within the First District. Cedillo said he is paying for the program with $500,000 in grants from his discretionary budget. The participating restaurants are Otoño, El Pescador, Maracas Café & Catering, Dino’s Burgers, La Parrilla, Plays Las Tunas, Rodeo, Golden Dragon, Burgerlords, Homegirl Café, Tierra Cliente, Antigua Bread, Huichos Bakery, Seoul Garden, BD Foods/Amped Kitchen, Papa Cristo’s, Zamora Brothers, Lemon Poppy, HomeState, Cusclateca, La Pupusa Urban Eatery, Bamboo Place, La 27 and Margarita’s Mexican. Households interested in receiving meals must email Gilbert.Cedillo@lacity.org.

A list of restaurants that had outbreaks of COVID-19 is being released by the L.A. County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles Times reports. No word on how long the restaurants will remain on the list or any other logistics, but we’ll keep you posted!

Restaurant owners interested in obtaining a permit to serve alcohol at their establishments may have the opportunity to apply at a significantly reduced permit fee and timeframe, the L.A. Department of City Planning announced. The profit margin from sales of alcoholic beverages has helped restaurant owners stay afloat during sharp rises in rent and payroll costs and, more recently, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the proposed Restaurant Beverage Program, qualifying restaurants would receive over-the-counter approvals and owners would pay a permit fee of $4,000 rather than the current $13,000. City Planning will host a webinar in May to share the details of the program and answer questions. Details for how to participate in the virtual session will be posted here. 

That’s it for this week’s Shopper & Diner Report! 

The Eastside is still open for business! Take a peek at our growing list of neighborhood guides to find out what restaurants are open for takeout and delivery.


Eastside Guides

Cecilia Padilla-Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999.

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