Judge rejects Burbank restaurant’s offer to end preliminary injunction

A judge dismissed a motion from a Burbank bar and grill to lift a preliminary injunction previously imposed on the company amid the coronavirus pandemic after its owner repeatedly defied closure orders for failing to the appropriate operating permits.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff issued the preliminary injunction and $ 1,150 in penalties against Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill on Magnolia Boulevard on April 9. proper business licenses and not because it was offering outdoor dining at a time when it was banned in Los Angeles County.

“ Unless Barfly obtains all the licenses and permits necessary to operate, he cannot do it, ” the judge wrote. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revoked the restaurant‘s health license, and its conditional use license was subsequently revoked by Burbank City Council. The preliminary injunction compels the restaurant. business to remain closed until it obtains the legally required permits to reopen.

RELATED: Tinhorn Flats continues to operate despite temporary restraining order

The city maintains that the restaurant is a permanent public nuisance.

In support of the lifting of the injunction, Barfly’s attorney, Mark J. Geragos, argued that the measure was “moot given the reopening of Los Angeles (county) restaurants under COVID protocols -19 revised. ” He also said she was “well established. that Tin Horn Flats was never a
Restaurant.”

But the judge called the theoretical argument “unconvincing” because the preliminary injunction was unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Judge issues temporary restraining order against operators of Tin Horn Flats to enforce shutdown

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“Regardless of the status of COVID-19 restrictions issued by the County or the Newsom government, Barfly does not have the necessary permits to operate a restaurant,” Beckloff wrote. If Barfly had his permits, the preliminary injunction wouldn’t prohibit him from operating. The court order simply requires Barfly to comply with the law. ”

The judge also rejected Geragos’ argument that the city would be sanctioned for arresting Lucas Lepejian, the 20-year-old son of the restaurant owner, who he said was legally on the property at the time, and for have built a wall around the business to try to prevent access.

RELATED: Judge authorizes city to cut power to Burbank restaurant that defied public health order

“Barfly cannot prevail on his claim, the court is imposing sanctions on the city as it does not identify any court order prohibiting the city from engaging in either of the acts,” wrote the judge.

Tinhorn Flats owner Baret Lepejian, who lives in Thailand while his children run the restaurant, said last month he supported their actions amid the pandemic and pledged not to pay the roughly $ 50,000 fines that were imposed on the company.

“Show me one piece of evidence of how I endanger the public,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “It was never a question of security or the public. It was never about that. It’s all about fear and control. ”

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