SoCal restaurants adapt for Easter, packing meals to go and giving away food

Restaurants that are normally busy on Easter Sunday are adapting their ways, packing complete brunches to go and even giving away free meals.

Easter is normally a busy time for Southern California restaurants. But with the shutdowns forced by the coronavirus pandemic, many are having to adapt their ways.

Some are cooking complete Easter meals and packing them to go.

Others, like DJ Coffee Shop in San Bernardino, are giving away food.

DJ's, partnering with Ye Olde Lamplighter restaurant, gave away some 600 ham dinners on Easter as a way of thanking their customers and the community.

People lined up around the parking lot once the giveaway began around 1 p.m.

The meals included ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables and carrot cake.

"If we can make one person have a sense of normalcy, remind them of what life was like before this, then we did our job," said Chris Hegle, manager of DJ's. "That's what this is about."

Some restaurants are adapting their business model, offering hard-to-find supplies like masks along with food.

The 101 North Eatery & Bar in Westlake Village would normally be packed with customers for Easter brunch. Instead, the restaurant staff spent the day packing complete meals-to-go.

For a few more dollars customers can add-on a do-it-yourself mimosa kit or pick another signature cocktail to whip up at home.

Because Easter this year will likely mean a smaller stay-at-home affair the meals are made for two to four people.

They hope next year customers will return with their families to dine-in.

"It's time for everyone to be with their family and I think this year it is going to be only immediate family," said general manager Brandon Breceda. "It's still a time for people to come together and celebrate."

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