Officials erected a chain-link fence around a restaurant in Burbank, California, on Saturday because it has repeatedly refused to stop serving customers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Authorities had already revoked Tin Horn Flats’ public-health permit, cut off its power supply, padlocked the door, and arrested one co-owner three times – but the restaurant stayed open, using its own generator,” Business Insider reported.
The city put up the fence once it received a preliminary injunction, according to Burbank police Lt. Derek Green.
In an Instagram post Sunday, the restaurant shared a photo of supporters standing near the fence with what appeared to be a grill:
The post reads:
Couple things to keep in mind for perspective-
1. We only opened outdoors to customers during the lockdown. We never served inside.
2. Employees followed all mask rules.
3. Even after our CUP was “taken away” we still followed every rule on the CUP and Health Permit.
THIS TYRANNY HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT PUBLIC SAFETY…IT IS ONLY ABOUT FEAR AND CONTROL. WE WILL NOT COMPLY.
Los Angeles County officials ordered restaurants to stop indoor dining on July 1, and from November 25 to January 29, outdoor dining was also banned, the Insider article said.
However, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reportedly received complaints Tinhorn Flats was continuing to serve its patrons outside.
According to Fox News, the restaurant racked up about $50,000 in fines since the pandemic began for violating health orders.
“A judge on Friday ruled the restaurant cannot reopen without new permits. The city had previously placed sandbags outside the business in a bid to keep it closed,” the outlet said.
On Tuesday, Lucas Lepejian, the restaurant owner’s son, was arrested for allegedly removing those barriers.
Owner Baret Lepejian said he refuses to pay the fines.
“Show me one shred of evidence how I am endangering the public,” he said, adding, “This has never been about safety or the public. It’s never been about that. This whole thing is about fear and control.”
A Go Fund Me featured on the restaurant’s social media has raised more than $79,000 for their legal fees, far beyond their initial $30,000 goal.