A Los Angeles County court authorized the City of Burbank to disconnect electricity powering a restaurant that refused to shut down in compliance with extreme pandemic-related restrictions.
Tinhorn Flats refused to abide by a temporary restraining order issued March 8 that required the restaurant to remain closed because the restaurant violated COVID-19 restrictions, KTTV-TV reported.
But the restaurant continued operations in defiance of the order.
In response, a Los Angeles Superior Court said Friday that Burbank officials could disconnect power at the restaurant.
In a statement issued by the city, officials hinted they may seek to lock the doors of the restaurant if the owners continue to operate their small business.
The statement said:
This morning due to Barfly Inc., Tin Horn Flats, continuing to remain open in defiance of the Temporary Restraining Order issued on March 8, 2021, the Los Angeles Superior Court authorized the City of Burbank to disconnect the electricity to Tin Horn Flats' property after giving 24-hours' notice. The court did not provide permission to padlock the doors at this time but continues to reserve such a remedy as a last resort.
Did the court order stop the restaurant?
Despite having no power, the restaurant has continued operations undeterred.
"The owner says they will continue to stay open and are currently using a generator as a power source," KTTV reported.
Indeed, the restaurant said in a Facebook post on Sunday, "We are open and we will NOT comply."
What is the background?
The City of Burbank pursued litigation against Tinhorn Flats after officials discovered the restaurant was not abiding by the city's COVID-19 restrictions last December. At the time, state and local restrictions prohibited indoor and outdoor dining.
Restaurant co-owner Lucas Lepejian told KTTV he was not scared of city officials because he was operating safely.
"They're coming after us for having 10, 15 people in a small environment. It absolutely makes no sense and [is] completely unconstitutional," Lepejian said.
"I've got nothing left to lose," Lepejian said. "I'm opposing tyranny. ... I'm doing COVID-19 safety protocols."
Burbank's battle against the small business comes as Los Angeles County officials have finally permitted restaurants to operate at 25% indoor capacity as of Monday.
Effective Monday, March 15 at 12:01 AM, the following sector can reopen in LA County with public health measures in… https://t.co/qCgB48yovA— Los Angeles County (@Los Angeles County)1615582197.0