Tinhorn Flats in Burbank has come under fire today after an anti-mask rant was posted to its public Facebook page. “We will not bow down to threats and fears” regarding mandatory face coverings, read the post, which has since been deleted. (A screenshot of the post is below.)
In the post, the popular sports bar links out to an official city of Burbank notice requiring facial coverings; it says that the company “completely denounces this.” It also states, without evidence, that the “amazing Burbank Police Department is refusing to enforce” the civil ordinance. (Eater has reached out to the police department for comment.)
Fueling the backlash is a recent Facebook post currently circulating on Twitter, in which Tinhorn Flats owner Baret Lepejian says that the country is “on the verge of a historic landslide win for President Donald Trump,” and that anyone protesting against such a win should “know the ramifications are going to be brutal and permanent.” The post warns that those who don’t “stand down” after Trump’s win will face “the wrath of God.” Lepejian’s public Facebook profile has a number of other far-right-leaning posts, including one where Lepejian says that “no one is more against [Kamala Harris’s] politics than me.”
Reached by Eater, Lepejian confirmed the posts were legitimate, saying of the mask ordinances, “I think this has gone [beyond] health and safety and gotten political. I don’t think it’s common sense, I think it’s harassment, and I don’t care what governor Newsom says.”
Elaborating on his Twitter comments, Lepejian said, “I’m not threatening. I have children. I’m not a radical. All I’m saying is let’s be smart about this and not incite more violence. Whatever happens after this election, let’s move forward. I’m worried that’s not going to happen.”
“I see this country burning to the ground,” he added. “It means a lot to me, so I feel like I need to say something.”
Tinhorn Flats is mostly known for being a casual neighborhood hangout with a Western vibe and strong contingent of sports fans, most of whom show up during normal times to watch the Chicago Bears. There was once a second location in Hollywood, but it closed in 2017 and was immediately followed by a mysterious explosion and fire.
This is not the first time that a restaurant in Southern California has found itself in hot water after refusing to comply with mandated mask-wearing for the health and safety of others during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen more than 220,000 people die this year alone. Franklin Village coffee shop Bourgeois Pig claimed to have been hacked after an anti-mask tweet showed up on its feed, while popular apple-picking destination Riley’s Farm in San Bernardino County openly refused to enforce a state mask order earlier this summer. In other instances, some local restaurants have publicly called out anti-maskers for abusive and vitriolic behavior towards staff.
Here’s the original Tinhorn Flats post, in full.