Through tears, the owner of a Hollywood restaurant in jeopardy of going out of business put out a plea for donations on Saturday.
Francoise Koster, owner of La Poubelle French Bistro on Franklin Avenue, said she’s “in an impossible position.”
Like many others throughout the state, the restaurant was hit hard by the closures meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Koster broke down in tears as she described getting a message from her chef asking if there was any work. She thought of his family, who he has to provide for.
“It’s really hard to know that you are the owner [and] you can barely help them when they’ve given so much of their time to you, to make your business what it was,” Koster said. “And it just was just thrown out like dirty dishwater.”
Koster says her mother opened the restaurant in 1969, fulfilling a childhood dream of owning a crêperie in America. It’s been a staple in Hollywood for decades since.
“We’ve gone through so much and we’ve always been able to get through it,” Koster said. “This time is very different. This time, there are no options. I don’t see a light.”
The restaurant started a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $200,000 to pay employees, pay back loans, and pay for insurance, mortgage and licenses.
L.A. County suspended dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars Nov. 25, saying the ban will last at least three weeks due to an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases. After that, a stay-at-home order from Gov. Gavin Newsom also halted in-person dining.
Coronavirus infection and hospitalization numbers are climbing faster than ever before and it’s unclear when officials will deem it safe for restaurants to reopen again.