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Overnight Explosion at Hollywood’s Tinhorn Flats Sends Glass Into the Street

The recently-shuttered restaurant reportedly suffered a gas leak

Tinhorn Flats, Hollywood
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A sudden, large-scale explosion rocked the greater Hollywood and Highland area last night around 7:30 p.m., and it came from inside the recently-closed Tinhorn Flats. So far, police suspect a gas leak.

Earlier this year, Tinhorn Flats shuttered following a failed health inspection, while rumors swirled about a sale to the property. The latter ended up turning out to be true, as owner Baret Lepejian — who also owns the Burbank location — accepted a buyer’s offer for the restaurant and moved on. Up until last night, the still-empty space had sat unused for several months.

That is until mid-evening on Wednesday, when police responded to a report of an explosion that had sent glass and debris into the street, right across from one of Hollywood’s most heavily-touristed destinations. Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident, but police did evacuate several higher floors and warn other residents above the restaurant to shelter in place, says Fox 11 and other news outlets.

So far, the police are treating this as a gas leak, rather than something more nefarious. It’s a far cry from Pasadena’s own bomb scare earlier this year at a Cheesecake Factory, where a man threw a homemade explosive device into the restaurant that discharged, but only filled the place with smoke. Local police and the FBI are still looking for a person of interest in that case.