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CA Restaurant Owner to Newsom: “Take No Salary Till We Can Work Again”

Angela Marsden, owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill in Sherman Oaks, CA who posted a video online about the hypocrisy of local and state officials that went viral, says Gavin Newsom is providing “fake condolences” while small business owners are suffering under California’s new mandate that prohibits indoor and outdoor restaurant dining.

“We are starving and losing everything, so don’t give me fake, fake condolences and options that are fantasy like stay-at-home for the other 50% of us that actually cannot stay at home,” said Marsden in an interview on The Foreign Desk with Lisa Daftari podcast.

“Mr. Newsom…we deeply, deeply ask that you close your winery, you give back the $3 million in PPP that you got and you take no salary until we are able to recoup and work again. And if you are devastated by this, I’m sure you will be more than happy to do these things to show us that you are really in it with us,” Marsden said.

Marsden classified what small businesses and society as a whole are facing due to COVID-19 restrictions as a “humanitarian crisis.”

Last Sunday a video of Marsden highlighting the hypocrisy of California’s COVID-19 restrictions went viral, as she demonstrated in the video how she had to shut down her saloon’s outdoor seating while just 50 feet away, a Hollywood production company set up catering tents for their filming set.

“Mayor Garcetti and Gavin Newsom are responsible for every single person…that does not have a job, and all the businesses that are going under, and we need your help. We need somebody to do something about this,” Marsden said in the video.

“The Independent Restaurant Association showed me the stats on independent restaurants across the country. We employ a million single parents, and…we hire the most minority managers than any other industry, so if you are a leader or a politician and you’re saying that you stand for minorities, and for women, look at what you’re doing,” Marsden said to The Foreign Desk.

Marsden emphasized that she did not blame the production companies and understood the importance of protecting others from getting sick. Her restaurant follows all safety measures including using face shields, enforcing mask-wearing, spacing tables more than 6 feet apart, implementing plexiglass booth dividers, and adding a to-go window.

Following all of these changes, Marsden was forced to move her restaurant outdoors. Soon after, California prohibited indoor and outdoor restaurant dining, other than to-go. The saloon will soon be reopening for to-go services, and Marsden anticipates losing 90 percent of her revenue.

While leaders and politicians continually point to science as the reasoning for closing down restaurants, Marsden cited scientific data showing that bars and restaurants only contribute to 3.1percent of the spread of COVID-19, and the vast majority of this spread is through fast food services.

“The science shows we should be open, which is crazy. I mean we had to go before a judge in order to get total transparency. The science showed is 3.1percent of bars and restaurants; it didn’t even say outdoors. It said bars and restaurants are contributing to spreading COVID, and of that 3.1 percent, the majority was made of fast food restaurants who had their employees getting infected because they’re standing so close to each other at the to-go windows,” said Marsden.

Marsden emphasizes that the issue of saving the economy should not be partisan and that she would welcome any effort by a Republican or Democrat to save the economy and “get down in the mud with us.”

With her newfound public platform, Marsden is hoping to “move the giant…in getting California open” and “to give hope and encouragement to people out there who are hurting and suffering that you’re not alone and there are people fighting.”

“I truly believe that there are two extremes going on and that in the middle are the heart of this country and the regular people that are being trampled on,” said Marsden.

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