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Why Does This Texas City Want to Shut Down This Restaurant?


"It’s very upsetting to hear they want to close our restaurant."

Citing numerous fire and safety code violations that the owner has dismissed as "baseless," attorneys for the City of McKinney, Texas, seem determined to shut down Hank’s Texas Grill.

The 70+ violations leveled against the restaurant include state flags hung as decoration and "faded parking lot striping."

Faded parking lines?

"Owner Ron Reynolds believes the city is making up reasons to shut down his honkytonk and is using overly aggressive police patrols to do it," CBS DFW reports.

Considering how long the battle between the restaurant and city authorities has been going on, Reynolds may actually have a point.

"It’s very upsetting to hear they want to close our restaurant," he said.

Reynolds sought a permanent injunction earlier this week that would keep firefighters and police off his property. But attorneys for the city claim it's illegal for a business to sue municipalities because of code violations and asked the judge to shut down Hank's.

"We’re just moving forward with our case and hope to get it done as soon as we can," said City Attorney Mark Houser.

Luckily for Reynolds, the judge denied the city’s request and instead moved the restaurant's hearing to next week.

"I would prefer to have it resolved as soon as possible but that’s between the lawyers that legal moves that they are making," Reynolds said.

The restaurant's owner's desire to put this fight to rest is understandable.

"Earlier this month the court granted Reynolds a restraining order against the McKinney Police Department and others. Today the judge ruled that the temporary restraining order would stay in place for another week," CBS DFW reports.

"But the judge also granted the police department’s request to once again allow officers to patrol the restaurant parking lot," the report adds.

The ruling involving police patrolling his parking lot is the one that has Reynolds concerned.

"He referred to recently shot videotape that shows police officers congregating outside the restaurant, in an effort he says is meant to scare away customers," the report continues.

"While the city denies the owner’s allegations of harassment, officers did enter the restaurant two weeks ago to investigate a bomb threat this despite the restraining order," CBS DFW adds.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

[In response to certain reader’s concerns: this author accidentally published this story Tuesday evening before a) it had been reviewed by an editor and b) it was scheduled for release. It was taken down so that certain changes could be made (i.e. adding video) and then released at a later point Wednesday morning. Sorry for the mix-up.]

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