LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Today the City of Burbank erected a fence around Tinhorn Flats Saloon and Grill. The establishment has repeatedly defied COVID health orders in an ongoing standoff with the city. Burbank Police Lt. Derek Green said the fence was put up to prevent the restaurant from operating without a county health permit and city conditional use permit.
The police presence around the bar is “there to maintain peace and order,” Green said. Dozens of demonstrators have remained mostly peaceful, but nearby residents and small businesses have felt the impact of the continued dispute.READ MORE: Monterey Park Police Fatally Shoot Man Outside Fire Station
On Friday, a judge issued a preliminary injunction against Tinhorn Flats in Burbank which has repeatedly defied COVID health orders, telling the lawyers it was apparent that a pause he took on March 26 to see if the parties could settle was unfruitful.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff told attorney Mark J. Geragos, who represents the Magnolia Boulevard eatery, that he was welcome to file a motion to modify the injunction, which is tailored along the same lines as the temporary restraining order the judge imposed against the bar on March 8.
The judge did not levy any sanctions against the restaurant owner, who defied health orders and continued to offer outdoor dining at a time it was banned in Los Angeles County.
Geragos said he will move to have the preliminary injunction dissolved and he also complimented his opposing counsel, Deputy City Attorney Michael M. Lee.
“I wish our clients got along as well as Mr. Lee and I do,” Geragos said.
The city of Burbank and the Western-themed bar have been involved in a legal battle for months over its right to reopen in violation of public health orders.
The city has revoked the bar’s business license, gotten a judge to sign off on disconnecting its electricity, and the bar has also been sued by Los Angeles County for disregarding the outdoor dining ban.READ MORE: Shooting On 91 Freeway In Riverside Shatters Window Of SUV
The city maintains the restaurant is an ongoing public nuisance.
The co-owner of the Tinhorn Flats in Burbank was arrested a third time in less than a week after he was seen removing sandbags that had been placed in front of the restaurant and bar by city employees.
Lucas Lepejian, 20, was arrested Tuesday morning and immediately released with a citation and order to appear in court at a later date.
Police say Lepejian was arrested for “altering efforts the city has implemented to prevent entry into the establishment, due to the unsafe conditions and to be compliant with the city’s safety codes.”
Lepejian has been arrested three times since the beginning of April – twice for violating a court order, and the third time for removing the sandbags placed in front of his restaurant.
Tinhorn Flats owner Baret Lepejian, who lives in Thailand while his children operate the restaurant, told the Los Angeles Times that he supports his son’s actions and vowed not to pay the roughly $50,000 in fines that have been levied against the business.
“Show me one shred of evidence how I am endangering the public,”‘ he told the Times. “This has never been about safety or the public. It’s never been about that. This whole thing is about fear and control.”MORE NEWS: Metrolink's Ventura County Line Will Offer Saturday Service Starting May 29
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