The ex-wife of the owner of Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill obtained possession of the Burbank restaurant, successfully completing an eviction process she initiated against the eatery that became the focus of a battle over coronavirus restrictions.
Isabelle Lepejian owns the property where Tinhorn Flats is located on Magnolia Boulevard, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department turned over the building to her on Tuesday.
She was formerly married to restaurant owner Baret Lepejian and is the mother of 20-year-old Lucas Lepejian, who was arrested by Burbank police for being on the property when he was allegedly not permitted to be there and often railed against the COVID-19 health mandates affecting the business.
The eviction was separate from actions taken by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff, who imposed a preliminary injunction and levied $1,150 in sanctions against Barfly Inc., the operating company for Tinhorn Flats, on April 9 due to the eatery’s lack of proper operating permits.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health revoked Tinhorn Flats’ health permit and its conditional-use permit was subsequently canceled by the Burbank City Council. The preliminary injunction required the business to stay closed until it obtained the legally required permits to reopen.
The city maintained the restaurant was is an ongoing public nuisance.
In support of lifting the injunction, Barfly attorney Mark J. Geragos maintained that the measure was “moot in light of the reopening of Los Angeles (County) restaurants under the revised COVID-19 protocols.” He also said it is “well established that Tin Horn Flats was never an inherently dangerous restaurant.”
But the judge called the moot argument “unpersuasive” because the preliminary injunction was not related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Baret Lepejian, who lives in Thailand while his children operated the restaurant, previously said he supported their actions amid the pandemic and vowed not to pay the roughly $50,000 in fines that have been levied against the business.
“Show me one shred of evidence how I am endangering the public,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “This has never been about safety or the public. It’s never been about that. This whole thing is about fear and control.”
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