Santa Monica’s Pacific Dining Car closes permanently after 30 years due to pandemic, auctions off memorabilia

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Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pacific Dining Car announced it is permanently closing its Santa Monica location and auctioning memorabilia from the 30-year-old Westside institution.

A Facebook post on Monday said the location has become a “casualty of the coronavirus crisis,” but that the company is working to reopen its other restaurant near downtown L.A., which turns 100 years old next year.

Furniture, table settings, kitchen equipment, paintings and other decor from Pacific Dining Car Santa Monica will be up for auction through June 22. As of Wednesday morning, the current bids for some items were as little as $1.

Before the pandemic forced restaurants to temporarily close their doors, both Pacific Dining Car locations operated 24/7 and relied on dine-in customers. Officials had only allowed restaurants to offer takeout service for months, but Los Angeles County on May 29 allowed dine-in service to resume with new health and safety guidelines in place.

Many restaurants have suffered financially, and a handful of long-running establishments said they’ve had to permanently shut down. That includes Stan’s Donuts in Westwood, which closed after 55 years in business.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced an “al fresco” dining program intended to help businesses serve customers while allowing physical distancing measures. It would let restaurants offer dining on sidewalks and parking lots.

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