A Beverly Hills eatery popular with actors and other celebrities that has previously complained that COVID restrictions are hurting California restaurants reportedly planned to host a "discreet" New Year's Eve party amid the COVID pandemic.
When authorities caught wind of the speakeasy-style event, they took steps shut it down, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend.
Indoor and outdoor dining are currently verboten in Los Angeles County, which includes Beverly Hills.
But evidently, that was not going to stop La Scala, an upscale Italian restaurant "known for its chopped salad and famous customers," the Times said.
According to the paper, the eatery was slipping secret invitations to the edict-breaking event into customers' take-out bags.
Pictures of the fancy invites, which asked recipients to keep the shindig on the down-low, naturally were quickly posted to social media for the world to see.
The reported notes quietly dropped into folks' dinners noted the current state of the restaurant environment in L.A. County, beginning, "Welcome back to the 20's Prohibition: Speak Easy — New Year's Eve Dinner."
The letter went on to gauge recipients' interest in the illicit affair. "We are considering taking reservations for New Year's Eve Dinner. Inside. If this is something you'd be interested in, Please let us know as soon as possible," the note said. "If enough interest we'll contact you back to secure a reservation."
The note urged recipients to "Please keep this discreet, but tell all your friends."
Merry Christmas everyone! La Scala’s Beverly Hills location is tucking these invitations to an indoor New Year’s Ev… https://t.co/3xw0vmrDSI— Alissa Walker (@Alissa Walker) 1608927309.0
Several people who posted the images of the invites were quick to alert the local authorities, which led to local officials working to put the kibosh on any sort of nefarious repast.
A spokesman for the City of Beverly Hills told the Times that local authorities contacted La Scala to remind the management about the county's current dining proscriptions.
Several social media users reportedly tagged the Beverly Hill Police Department to make sure they were aware of the scofflaws who dared to consider doing something to attempt to save their struggling business.
The BHPD thanked concerned citizens for making sure the department was aware of the rumored speakeasy event and assured them that "Code Enforcement is aware and will be handling this matter."
@GottaSaveBucky @awalkerinLA Thank you for tagging the BHPD. Beverly Hills Code Enforcement is aware and will be ha… https://t.co/97SadTB8AC— Beverly Hills Police (@Beverly Hills Police) 1608954163.0
The Times said it attempted to get a comment from La Scala, but received no response.
This speakeasy party wouldn't be the first time the restaurant has taken an anti-lockdown stance.
On Sept. 14, La Scala posted a complaint to Instagram about Beverly Hills Mayor Lester Friedman's COVID restrictions and their impact on local businesses.
"Hey @lesterfriedman_bh @bh_chamber you're hurting our Restaurants! WTF!" La Scala posted with a pair of graphics calling out the mayor and complaining that "now we can't even have our umbrellas that have been up & approved for 18 years!!"
The restaurant added the hashtags "#YouSuck" and "#BeverlyHillsLeadershipSucks."