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After A Catastrophic Start, The $30,000 Restaurant Aid Program Relaunches On Monday

File: King Taco taped off its outdoor dining area to discourage costumers from lingering as they shifted to take out only.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Much like the Arecibo Observatory, the original Keep L.A. Dining website suffered a catastrophic failure this week. While the research facility in Puerto Rico had been operating for nearly 60 years before a 900-ton equipment platform collapsed, the restaurant relief website crashed barely an hour after launching.

An aerial view of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico after one of the main cables holding the receiver broke on December 1, 2020.
(Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images)

The program, overseen by the Los Angeles County Development Authority, gives $30,000 to brick-and-mortar restaurants that meet certain criteria — but the funds are limited. The number of applications is capped at 2,500.

When the website began accepting applications, at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3, restaurant owners — approximately 6,000 of them — tried to log in but, "The portal was overwhelmed due to the surge of thousands of applicants," says a LACDA spokesperson.

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Only two users were able to submit full applications, according to LACDA.

Matt Glassman, who owns several restaurants, including The Greyhound Bar & Grill in Glendale, described the process as "absolutely soul-crushing."

As of Friday at 5 p.m., the COVID-19 relief site was still down. But it will relaunch!

The Keep LA Dining website will relaunch after crashing.
(Screengrab from LACDA website)

On Saturday morning, LACDA announced it will launch a new application platform on Monday, December 7 at 8 a.m. The new portal will accept applications until Tuesday, December 8 at 5 p.m. or until 2,500 applications are received, whichever comes first.

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Per a LACDA press release...

  • User accounts created in the previous system are no longer valid.
  • Users who submitted a completed application do not need to re-register.
  • Applicants who registered but couldn't complete the process should've received an email from LACDA explaining how to proceed.
  • All other applicants must re-register through the program's new application portal.

Given how much restaurants are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, it's a safe bet the new site will also be flooded with applicants. But hopefully it will be able to handle them all.

What questions do you have about food in LA?
Elina Shatkin connects connect hungry Angelenos — through food — to the culture, history, people and neighborhoods that make up our city.