Judge shuts off power at LA restaurant for defying Covid lockdown: ‘We are open. We will not comply’

A judge in Los Angeles County has shut the lights off at a local restaurant that has kept its doors open despite a prior ban on in-person dining. The eatery’s Facebook page indicates that its phones have also been cut off, but it remains open for business reportedly using generator power and accepting cash-only food purchases.

“We are open. We will not comply. All businesses are essential,” the restaurant declared on Sunday in one Facebook post.

According to a March 12 press release from the city of Burbank, 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.”

A few days earlier, a judge issued a temporary restraining order requiring a county health permit and a city conditional use permit as a condition for the restaurant’s reopening. Burbank had revoked the establishment’s operating permit in late February 2021 and initiated a lawsuit for alleged violations of the city’s municipal codes. Los Angeles County suspended the Tin Horn Flats’ public heath permit in January.

This legal wrangling between the Burbank city council and the restaurant is occurring even as, effective today, officials are giving the go-ahead for restaurants to resume in-person dining at 25 percent capacity, subject to various social distancing and other safety protocols.

“The city alleges that the restaurant broke the state and local in-person dining ban back in December 2020 and therefore the city took civil action against them,” Fox 11 Los Angeles reported. The parties are due back in court on March 26 which could result in further sanctions.

On its Instagram page, the restaurant posted a quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson which read “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey, he is obligated to do so.”

“I chose to disobey rules that have zero science behind them and rules that directly threaten my livelihood needlessly,” the caption on the post 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.”

On its GoFundMe page for the Tinhorn Flats Legal Defense Fund, the owners similarly asserted that “We will not comply with tyrannical rules and closures.”

In late February, co-owner Lucas Lepejian told the media that “they’re coming after us for having 10-15 people in a small environment. It absolutely makes no sense and completely unconstitutional.”

For several months, L.A. County had banned outdoor dining as well.

Twitter responded to the Tin Horn Flats controversy. Here is a sampling of reactions:


Stringent COVID-related restrictions throughout the state of California are the primary reason why lockdown-loving Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely facing a recall election.

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Robert Jonathan

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