The city of Palm Springs is extending its new late-night restaurant closure order after sparking concerns from businesses about losing customers.
The order initially required businesses to close at 11 p.m., but was extended until midnight.
When Mindy Reed, owner of Revel Public House in downtown Palm Springs, heard she had to close her restaurant by 11 p.m., she was worried it would cost her valuable business.
"There are a lot of people still coming out 10:00, 10:30 even up to 11 having full dinners at that time," Reed said. "We're doing a couple thousand dollars every weekend after 10 p.m. ... That's the difference whether I can stay open or I'll be closed permanently."
Reed is already limited to her outdoor patio space, and with social distancing there aren't too many customers to begin with. "Every dollar, every inch of space and every hour really has an impact," she said.
"The last thing we want to do is not support our businesses," said Palm Springs City Manager David Ready. He said he took situations like Reed's into account when he changed the order to keep restaurants open until midnight.
Ready said the order was imposed to curb late night gatherings. "As a restaurant is open later and later in the evening, midnight and 1:00 a.m., the presumption is people have eaten and so now its more of a gathering, socializing."
He's hoping to take some of the enforcement off the already strained police department.
"We got about a $15 million hole in our budget that we reduced, so obviously we have less police staff, we have less code enforcement staff," Ready said.
With that in mind, it's an order Reed is willing to follow.
"We have to find a way to live with (coronavirus) and be open and be profitable," she said. "Me knowing that it's going to help our police department and help others – that's a small sacrifice."
The order takes effect Friday and is expected to be ratified by city council at their meeting next week.