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South Pasadena Bar Owner Charged With Misdemeanor for Illegal St. Paddy’s Day Party

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Video from the March 17 event shows a large crowd, live music, and police trying to restore order

A half-drank beer sits on a dark bar.
Beer from a pub
flickr/david brown
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 Los Angeles County man accused of purposefully opening his South Pasadena bar on St. Patrick’s Day has been charged with a misdemeanor by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

Per the DA’s office Joseph Patrick Griffin, owner of the Griffins of Kinsale Irish Pub on Mission Street, has been charged with “one misdemeanor count of violation of the Los Angeles County’s health officer order,” after he knowingly opened his bar for service despite the public statewide mandate to close his establishment. Video from the day in question made its way around social media, showing a crowd both inside and out as well as live music. At one point, the police arrive to speak with the owner about the demand to shut down, though multiple witnesses told the South Pasadenan that the gathering continued into the evening, even after Griffin was issued a citation.

Now Griffin faces a formal charge from the county DA’s office, which could carry a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Meanwhile nearly three months have elapsed since the first shutdown order, and restaurants are once again able to seat diners inside, albeit at 60 percent capacity. Still, county health officials who investigated some 2,000 restaurants last weekend found that half were not in compliance with the health and safety guidelines set forth by the department to help further stem the tide of the coronavirus.