The Abbey Food Food & Bar is re-opening tomorrow Saturday, May 30, 2000, after being one of the first restaurant/bars to close in WeHo in response to the COVID-19 emergency. The re-opening is in response to Los Angeles County’s announcement today that it was given permission from the state to reopen restaurants for in-person dining, and resume services at barbershops and hair salons as part of a new phase in the region’s efforts to re-open businesses.
“We’re OPENING UP TOMORROW and excited to see you all! 🏳️🌈🍸🍺”, reads a post on their official Facebook page. “We will have limited occupancy for now, till we get the green light for more. We have strict Cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place to keep our customers and staff safe as well as mandatory temp checks, masks upon entry and social distancing enforced. Our large open patio seating is for dining only which includes @thechapelweho. Hours will be Monday through Friday 11:30-2am, Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-2am. We will have a dj from 6pm-2am #MeetMeAtTheAbbey #MeetMeAtTheChapel #GayBar #LGBTQ”
The outdoor patio at the Abbey is buzzing with employees cleaning and watering plants in preparation for the grand re-opening. Rainbow flags are going up in preparation for Pride Month even though LA Pride is going virtual this year.
“We are opening under new normal circumstances,” Todd Barnes, the General Manager at The Abbey, told WEHO TIMES. “The new normal is that it is not a night club like people think. We’re not doing that. It’s a restaurant right now. We won’t have dancers. We have to play it by ear and see if we can have a drag show. We’re basically working with the virus and keeping everyone safe and making sure we’re able to operate the business while people are social distancing.”
Barnes said that the Abbey owner and founder David Cooley was beyond thrilled to take down the dark plastic tarp that has been covering the The Abbey during the pandemic. However, Barnes wants to stress that even though they start having sit down outdoor dining tomorrow, it’s in everyone’s best interest to abide by social distance guidelines so that restaurants can remain open in the Greater Los Angeles area.
“What scares me is that people think Pride is back on,” he said. “It’s not back on. I don’t want to face a big crowd on the sidewalk trying to get in. Unfortunately I can’t help that. If the message can go out that there is no pride event this year, that would make things easier and safer. We’re known for being a night club and the parties even though we have great food. Right now we want to ask everyone to please follow the guidelines and to police themselves. All it takes is a spike in the numbers and all of a sudden we’re all closed down again. We can’t stress safety enough.”
Pump Restaurant Lounge located two doors down from The Abbey is slated to open in two weeks according to an employee.