HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Veterans are rallying around a local bar whose owners say they have been ordered to removed a sign that salutes their service.
“Thank a veteran for your freedom!” says a large sign perched above Johnny’s Booze and Pool. Vets love it and make up a significant part of the establishment’s clientele.
“I love this place. The sign gives me the pride back that I lost … I struggled a lot when I first came back,” an Army vet told CBS2’s Stacey Butler.
But someone complained to the city about the sign, and now the bar’s owners say they’ve been ordered to take it down.
“We received a letter in the mail from the city stating that we have to remove it within two days or they were going to fine us, like, $940,” says co-owner John Marovic.
Co-owner Johnny Kresimir says he has until Tuesday to remove the sign or pay the fine. He plans to fight it, and has issued a plea on Facebook for support.
Huntington Beach Mayor Pro-Tem Matthew Harper says he has contacted the city manager about the issue and is waiting for an answer. Harper says he would support granting a variance to allow the sign to remain standing.
The issue has some of the sign’s supporters scratching their heads.
Said one veteran: “I can understand city ordinances, but it’s been up there for 10 years. I don’t understand why it’s a problem now.”