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Despite Arrest, Tinhorn Flats Will Probably Fight LA Public Health Officials Forever

The Lepejian family has been vocally fighting against mask mandates on public health orders for months in Burbank

A Western-themed bar from the front, at an angle, showing saloon doors and blue skies beyond.
Tinhorn Flats
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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.

There’s been another twist in the ongoing Tinhorn Flats saga in Burbank this week. The Western-themed bar and restaurant has been a focal point for anti-lockdown, anti-mask types for many months now, as owner Baret Lepejian and his family have continually sought to operate onsite and without permits throughout much of the pandemic and related lockdowns, despite being fined and told on numerous occasions to shut down by LA county public health and Burbank city officials.

Last night, Burbank police arrested Baret’s 20-year-old son Lucas Lepejian for “failing to follow a court order,” according to My Burbank, just one day after using a saw to cut through the padlock the city placed on the front of the restaurant. The city of Burbank previously cut power lines to the business for continuing to act against the county’s public health order. While on-site dining (and even limited-capacity indoor dining) has since returned to Los Angeles County, Tinhorn Flats has been seating unmasked customers for months. drawing the ire of city and county officials, though Burbank police have previously been loathe to intercede. Most recently, the city of Burbank red-tagged the building as being unsafe for use after the Lepejian family reportedly rigged up an unsafe power source into the building to keep the restaurant running.

Undeterred even today, Tinhorn Flats posted on Facebook that they would be reopening once again starting at noon. The Lepejians have for weeks now retained the services of Mark Geragos, a lawyer and restaurant owner of Engine Co. No. 28 in Downtown LA, who himself has filed suit against the LA County Department of Public Health over last fall’s restaurant lockdowns. On Twitter, Geragos indicated that the younger Lepejian’s arrest may not be entirely legal, given that he is not listed formally as a co-owner for the restaurant.

Given that Tinhorn Flats has vowed to reopen again today, it’s safe to say this saga is ongoing.

Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill

2623 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505 (818) 567-2470 Visit Website