Less than 24 hours after Los Angeles County restaurants were told they could reopen for dine-in service, many were looted and vandalized during citywide George Floyd protests.

Like so many things since mid-March, it wasnt supposed to go this way. On the first full day that dine-in service was allowed to resume in Los Angeles, a citywide curfew was declared as violence broke out in several neighborhoods.
Protests against the killing by police of George Floyd in Minneapolis were met with rubber bullets and tear gas from the LAPD; rioting and looting ensued. Newly reopened restaurants were forced to hurriedly shut their doors in the middle of dinner, and others abandoned their fledgling takeout businesses for the night.
Early Sunday morning, the windows of Pizzeria Mozza were tagged with red spray paint and broken glass blanketed the intersection of Highland and Melrose avenues as protesters gathered in front of chef Nancy Silvertons group of Italian restaurants; next door, the MelroseMac store had been broken into and looted.
Moments later, a fire broke out; it was not immediately clear if it began in the electronics store nor the extent of the damage to the businesses. Fire trucks quickly arrived and extinguished the flames; Silvertons partner, Michael Krikorian, was on the scene, pacing in front of Mozza2Go and Chi Spacca with a red bandana covering his face, smoke billowing out of the building behind him.
Other Los Angeles restaurants including Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, Terroni and Ronan were also vandalized or looted. Still, the overwhelming response from owners on signs plastered on storefronts or messages posted to social media was sympathetic to the spirit of the protests.
Guerrilla Tacos suspended takeout early on Saturday and said it would remain closed until Monday at the earliest. We are POC and women owned and we could fill days telling stories about the failure of our system, the Arts District taqueria said on Instagram. We are in a state of emergency and its not because of the looting or fires it is because black people are dying and no one is being held responsible and it is not changing.
After two and a half brutal months of shutdown due to the novel coronavirus, and on the day after the county and city did an about-face and suddenly greenlit reopening, the wallop of yet another unknown hit restaurant owners and workers hard.
On Friday night, when protests were centered in downtown, the Italian restaurant Terroni was looted and two restaurants run by Josef Centeno were vandalized; the chef posted photos on Instagram showing shattered glass at Baco Mercat and graffiti covering the windows at nearby Bar Ama. Petite Peso, a Filipino restaurant on West 7th Street, posted a photo with the caption, Our window can be replaced. George Floyd cant.
By Saturday afternoon, the protests had moved west to the Fairfax District.
Ronan has so far been tagged for sure with spray paint. But the police line is right out front on Melrose, so were hoping that the restaurant is safe, co-owner Caitlin Cutler said on Saturday evening; the Italian restaurant is on Melrose Avenue near Fairfax. My priority was just getting everybody out of there.
The restaurant didnt have boards for its windows but we pulled down every blind that we had, she said.
Cutler said a third of the restaurants takeout sales have come on Saturday during quarantine, so closing for the night was not an easy decision to make.
We had employees who were like well stay here; well defend the place and we were like no, no, no, go home, she said. We did put up signs that said: We stand with you, black lives matter. At the end of the day we do support the protests. We dont support violent protests, but we support protesting peacefully.
On La Brea Avenue, business owners rushed to clear out on Saturday afternoon. Before leaving, employees from Neighborhood coffee shop boarded up its windows and those of Burgers 99 next door. The burger restaurant was recently opened by the family behind Badmaash, which closed both locations of its Indian restaurant in downtown and on Fairfax Avenue on Saturday, posting a message on Instagram that said, Please be safe.
Dine-in service was short-lived at restaurants that made the effort to restart operations after more than 10 weeks of only being allowed to offer takeout. This was supposed to be a weekend of openings, and then we saw the closing of a life in Minneapolis, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
Canters, which reopened its dining room at 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, closed as protests subsumed the area around Fairfax and Melrose avenues. In an Instagram post, the restaurant, which has been at that location since 1953, wrote: Canters supports Black Lives Matter Movement. Were leaving out bottled water for protesters. Please stay safe.
Despite the imperiled financial situation they find themselves in, some restaurant owners said they were donating to the cause and encouraged customers to do the same.
We believe in justice for black people and support the protests happening around the country now. Black lives matter, Go Get Em Tiger said on its Instagram Stories; the coffee shop chain closed its Row DTLA location on Saturday after entry gates to the retail complex were shut.
Today we made contributions to a few organizations doing critical work in these times. On Sunday, bring proof of a donation over $20 to an organization dedicated to justice for black Americans and your coffee is on us.
Times staff writer Jenn Harris contributed to this report.