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LACO Settles With Eatery Over Alleged Outdoor Dining Ban Snub
By City News Service
Published October 25, 2021

 

Los Angeles County reached a settlement with one of two restaurants sued earlier this year for allegedly disregarding the outdoor dining ban put in place last November to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Last Dec. 2, county public health inspectors observed 18 to 22 customers eating and drinking on Cronies Sports Grill’s outdoor patio and also saw that a closure notice at the Agoura Hills eatery on Kanan Road that had been posted on the front door the day before was camouflaged by a banner, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit brought Jan. 27. On Dec. 12, Cronies’ public health permit was revoked and a written notice was given to cease all restaurant operations, the suit states.

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Under the settlement, Cronies has agreed to pay $10,000 in abatement costs, plus $25,000 in suspended civil penalties enforceable only if a court finds the settlement has been violated b the restaurant, according to an order signed Thursday by Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis.

The eatery is further stopped by an injunction from opening, conducting or participating in any restaurant operations in violation of the Los Angeles County Code and/or all applicable state and local health orders, including the Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community for Control of COVID- 19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy, according to the order.

The injunction also prohibits the business from “engaging in, conducting, managing or carrying on the operation of the restaurant or other dining establishment without a public health permit” in violation of the Los Angeles County Code, according to the order. The injunction will be ended in 18 months if Cronies fully complies with the terms.

Within 10 business days of the effective date of the settlement, Cronie’s must allow the county Department of Public Health to conduct a permit reinstatement inspection of the eatery without any customers present, according to the order. Within two business days after passing the inspection, Cronie’s must pay a $1,375 public health permit fee in, after which the restaurant’s permit will be reinstated within another two days, according to the order.

Los Angeles County lifted its ban on outdoor dining on Jan. 29. In the same lawsuit, the county sued the Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill on Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank. That part of the litigation is still pending.

On Dec. 15, a public health inspector saw more than 25 customers dining in the outdoor patio of the Tin Horn Flats restaurant, the suit states. The property owner, Isabelle Lepejian, obtained an eviction order against the restaurant operators in June.

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