LAPD ordered LA Live restaurant to remove TVs for tonight's Kings game
L.A. Live's Rock'N Fish shows their support of the L.A. Kings
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Just one win separates the Los Angeles Kings from their first ever Stanley Cup trophy. With the chance to clinch the title tonight at the Staples Center, Downtown bars and businesses are bracing themselves for what could be an epic night.
At L.A. Live, several businesses have chosen to take extra steps to ensure things run smoothly this evening. Gavin Millette, who works at The Farm of Beverly Hills, said that the Los Angeles Police Department has already made some significant changes at the restaurant
“LAPD made us take out TVs [because of rowdy fans],” Millette said, referring to the outdoor patio area which normally has several televisions. Millette also noted that the restaurant and bar forces customers to close out their tabs earlier in an effort to ensure fans sober up before they leave.
If people are upset with not being able to watch TV at The Farm, the restaurant has no problem kicking them out -- as was the case with Game 4 of the hockey series.
“We just had a lack of TV’s,” Millette said. “People got mad … [We] had to kick a couple people out.”
AEG, which owns L.A. Live, hired security for tonight's game in order to prevent fans from getting out of control. Millette said it was bandwagon fans who cause most of the problems.
“Some of [the bandwagoners] stand up on tables,” he said. “Regulars, they know how it goes.”
At Rock'n Fish, assistant general manager Jeff Doherty said that in his two years at the restaurant they have only had to hire security twice: for Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals and for tonight’s game. He anticipates a crowd of at least 246, the maximum capacity of the restaurant.
“I was supposed to be here at 5:00,” Doherty said with a laugh. “It’s 1:00.”
Rock n’ Fish is increasing manpower for tonight's game as well; they will have 35 people working during the game, not including those in the kitchen. To create more bar space, Doherty said they will turn tables around to allow more standing room, though not to the point it will be a hazard or get them in trouble.
“[I] expect the fire marshal to pay us a visit,” Doherty laughed.
Rock n’ Fish is a sponsor of the Kings, so Doherty enjoys passionate fans and said they've never really been a problem.
“I would love to see a celebration [if the Kings win],” he said. “I don’t mind a little rowdy.”
L.A. Live is not the only Downtown area that has made changes in their protocol for the upcoming game. The Los Angeles Brewing Company will be using plastic cups because it is “cost effective” and also prevents potential safety hazards, such as injuries from broken glassware.
“Safety is a primary focus of ours,” general manager Michael Balabon said. “[We have] double off-duty LAPD officers … for guest protection.”
The brewing company has 100 kegs on tap regularly, but for the game, Balabon said they have a 30 to 50 percent increase in backup kegs. The brewery will also have 15 to 20 more people working during the game.
Though he said Game 5 brought a “tame” crowd, he expects 700 customers to turnout for the game. Balabon said the brewery will not stay open extra hours and will close at 12 a.m.
Big Wang’s manager Kari Hadley is expecting 500 guests at her bar tonight, and that means a large increase in help: five extra servers, three more cooks, and four more people helping outside. She also said security will be there to make sure there aren’t too many people in bar.
Hadley said she has ordered at least three extra kegs of everything on draught because Kings fans enjoy their beer; she didn't get extra liquor though, because they don't go through much for Kings games.
Though beer sales rise and the fans get excited, Hadley says she hasn’t had to kick anyone out so far in the playoff run.
“People understand [the rules],” Hadley said. “They all want to stay, so they’re good about doing what we ask them to do.” She expects Big Wang’s to be open until 2:00 a.m., which is when they usually close.
Though they keep the same hours, that doesn’t mean business will not explode tonight if last week’s Game 4 is any indication.
“I did more business at last Wednesday’s game than I did on Super Bowl Sunday,” Hadley said.