LA County judge authorizes cutting off restaurant's electricity for trying to survive pandemic


Los Angeles restaurants have been given the green light to resume indoor dining Monday. But one restaurant has been given a notice that its power would be shut off. Why? Because the owner kept the lights on during the pandemic to survive.

A Los Angeles County judge on Friday authorized the City of Burbank to cut off electricity to a restaurant that has stayed open in defiance of a court order issued earlier in the week.  

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against Tin Horn Flats on Monday, March 8, requiring that the restaurant close and not open without a County Health Permit and a City Conditional Use Permit, the City of Burbank said in a statement.

Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill, located in Burbank, Calif. 

Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill, located in Burbank, Calif. 
(Google Maps)

The restaurant remained open, despite the order, and on Friday, and the court authorized the city to cut their electricity after giving a 24-hour notice.

The city said that the court did not provide permission to padlock the restaurant’s doors but “continues to reserve such a remedy as a last resort.”

The city says it will return to court for further orders and enforcement if Tin Horn Flats still refuses to close.

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The city says it took civil action against Tin Horn Flats after the restaurant broke the state and local in-person dining ban that was issued in December.

In late February, the city adopted a resolution to revoke the “Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Tin Horn Flats for allegedly violating the Los Angeles County Health Officer Orders “in a manner which endangers the public health, safety and welfare, and creates a public nuisance.”

A hearing on a preliminary injunction is scheduled for March 26. At the hearing, the judge could continue the closure order and further orders during the period while the litigation is pending.

Hours before the Los Angeles judge authorized Burbank to cut electricity to Tin Horn Flats, the restaurant posted a quote from Thomas Jefferson, with a caption that stated: “I simply will NEVER comply. Not for any reason and not from any advice from anyone.”

“I chose to disobey rules that have zero science behind them and rules that directly threaten my livelihood needlessly,” the caption read. “These people implementing and following these rules do NOT represent my values nor my beliefs. I will go down with my ship if need be.”

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The restaurant said its power was turned off on Saturday. On its Instagram page, the restaurant asked the public to help fund a generator and lights and said will be open on Sunday for a BBQ.   

Fox News has reached out to Tin Horn Flats and the City of Burbank with a request for comment but did not hear back before publication.

The judge’s ruling comes ahead of a slate of business sectors in Los Angeles County that are expected to reopen on Monday amid a decline in the stated number of COVID-19 cases and an increase in vaccinations.

Restaurants may resume in-door dining so long as they serve diners indoors at 25% capacity, according to the county’s public health department. Tables must be spaced eight feet apart, and only one household with a maximum of six people per table will be allowed indoors.  

Only six members from the same household can be seated together at the same table in the indoor dining area, while members from up to three different households – a maximum of six people total – can sit together at the same table in the outdoor dining area.

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public health is encouraging restaurants to continue to prioritize outdoor dining, pickup, and delivery services for the safety of workers.

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