The city of Burbank and the owner of Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill continue to face off in their ongoing battle over coronavirus-related closures, most recently with the arrest of the owner’s son, Lucas Lepejian.
“While Tinhorn Flats continues to flagrantly ignore and violate court orders to shut down restaurant operations, the city of Burbank has taken extraordinary measures to obtain compliance,” a statement from the city stated. “This includes turning off the electricity and revoking the Conditional Use Permit after the County Public Health Department revoked their health permit. Most recently, on March 31, the City red tagged the building located at 2623 W. Magnolia Blvd., known as Tinhorn Flats, after finding significant life safety hazards.”
Tinhorn Flats continued to reopen for patio service, removing boards placed by the city over the doors and cutting locks, despite repeated warnings from officials.
On Thursday night, Lucas Lepejian, son of the saloon’s owner Baret Lepejian, was arrested for continuing to violate court orders.
“The Burbank Police Department is confirming the arrest of Lucas Lepejian, 20, of North Hollywood,” Sgt. Emil Brimway of the Burbank Police Department said in a statement. “Mr. Lepejian was taken into custody on April 1, 2021, at about 7:45 p.m. in the city of Burbank, following a traffic stop. Mr. Lepejian was not arrested at Tinhorn Flats. He was booked on suspicion of violating a court order and then released with a citation to appear in court on a later date.”
The city of Burbank called the situation challenging, saying the issue may not be easily understood or resolved, especially given the repeated acts of defiance from the business owner and his family.
“The Burbank Police Department vehemently condemns the actions of Tin Horn Flats and their persistent unlawful behavior,” Police Chief Scott LaChasse said in a statement. “We continue to make strategic decisions and take measured actions to keep our personnel and community safe. Sharing our plan prior to implementation could endanger lives. Our actions will always be based on protecting our public and in compliance with the law.”
As of early Friday afternoon, Baret Lepejian said he and his son plan to continue their mission to keep their doors open.
“My son got out after a couple hours yesterday. And he’s at the hardware store as we speak; he’s buying a saw because they boarded us back up again.” Baret Lepejian told the Business Journal. “We should be open in about an hour.”