Burbank, Calif., Restaurant that defied COVID rules evicted
A California restaurant has been evicted after defying state and local coronavirus orders and after the bar owner has been repeatedly arrested, officials say.
The Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill in Burbank was evicted Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, city officials said.
The building was handed over to the owner of the property “as a final step in the eviction process she initiated against Tinhorn Flats,” officials said.
Lucas Lepejian, owner of the bar, was arrested several times in April after removing sandbags placed in front of the building by the city after being accused of violating COVID restrictions, McClatchy News previously reported.
“This is the kind of police enforcement we’re dealing with… they come in with a heavy hand, fearing that Tinhorn Flats will make burgers and serve beers.” Lucas is released from prison for the third time. What a really sad time in Burbank, California. We won’t comply, ”the restaurant said in an Instagram post at the time.
Lepejian fought with Burbank officials over whether his business was allowed to remain open during the pandemic.
Officials said the company continued to offer outdoor dining after the practice was banned in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The restaurant’s business license was also revoked in February, and the city got a judge’s permission to shut off the bar’s electricity weeks later, CBS Los Angeles reported.
In March, Lepejian removed the restaurant’s doors after receiving a temporary restraining order allowing Burbank to close the bar, NBC Los Angeles reported.
“We found out that a judge had authorized our doors to be locked, so we took matters into our own hands,” Lepejian said. “If you don’t have any doors, there is nothing (padlock). We will continue to operate.”
The disputes surrounding the company even sparked protests. In late May, three people were arrested after a judge decided not to lift a preliminary injunction on the now-closed bar, CBS Los Angeles reported.
The city said the recent eviction is a separate legal issue from the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction issued against the bar for continuing to operate after its conditional use and public health permits were revoked.
McClatchy News has contacted the restaurant owner for comment.