By CBSLA Staff

WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — It has been 366 days since ETA, a bar in Highland Park, closed its doors following the announcement of Los Angeles’ Safer at Home order.

For the first time in a year, Rocco’s in West Hollywood is setting up tables for indoor dining. (CBSLA)

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“ETA has just been straight closed for the last year,” Matthew Glassman, the bar’s co-owner, said.

Glassman also runs the Greyhound Bar and Grill down the street and a third restaurant in Glendale, which has only opened a few times since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

And, last summer, the pandemic became personal.

“My business partner, Steven, and I both caught COVID at work,” Glassman said.

Over in West Hollywood, Rocco’s was setting up tables for indoor dining again. One year ago, the restaurant was only able to offer takeout.

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Co-founder Leo Amari said his business was able to hang on because the city did not take a one-and-done approach to the ever-evolving business restrictions over the past year.

“They came out to educate you and help you versus, you know, trying to shut your business down, make matters worse for you, which were already horrendous,” Amari said.

He said he was much more optimistic about the future with food industry workers now eligible to get vaccinated.

“For me, personally, I feel a sense of relief,” he said.

Amari credited the city of West Hollywood with fast-tracking the permit process to convert this parking lot into a multi-use area so that his restaurant, and a second one, could set up cabanas for customers and a nearby gym could take its business outdoors — giving them all a fighting chance at survival.

Meanwhile, back in Highland Park, ETA and Greyhound have less square footage and are hoping to reopen in the spring if conditions continue to improve.

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“I just don’t feel super comfortable putting a lot of hourly workers in a small room and telling them to stand there for seven hours until we feel very safe,” Glassman said.