Los Angeles County settled its complaint with an Agoura Hills restaurant that has repeatedly defied an outdoor eating ban imposed by public health officials.
Last week’s settlement ended a months-long standoff that saw Cronies Sports Grill operate without a public health license for much of 2021.
According to the settlement, Cronies must pay $ 9,999 in cleanup fees. Additional civil penalties of $ 25,000 are suspended unless the restaurant violates county codes or the current county health order.
Cronies, located on Kanan Road, continued to serve diners outside, regardless of the county health ordinance issued in November 2020 in the face of increasing COVID-19 cases. Restaurant co-owner David Foldes said disregarding order was both a matter of survival and a fight against “government overreach.”
County health officials repeatedly cited the restaurant before suspending and ultimately revoking the restaurant’s public health license in December. The county also issued a cease and desist letter to the restaurant.
The ban on eating outdoors was lifted at the end of January. But the pals continued to operate without the health permit, and the county filed a complaint this month.
The city of Agoura Hills also filed a criminal complaint earlier this year against the restaurant for operating without a business license or health permit, Foldes said.
The “only reason” he and his partners settled with the county was pressure from the city, Foldes said.
“The only way they [the city] would either drop this case or postpone it if we settled with the county, ”Foldes said Wednesday. He added that the restaurant had passed an inspection and should receive its sanitary permit.
The apparent conclusion of the Cronies lawsuit contrasts directly with the situation at Burbank’s Tinhorn Flats restaurant, which has also repeatedly flouted COVID dining restrictions.
As he did with Cronies, the county issued several citations to Tinhorn Flats and revoked his health license.
The city of Burbank also took action against the restaurant, revoking its conditional use permit, installing sandbags, fencing and a padlock to block the entrance and receiving a judge’s permission to shut down the restaurant food.
Lucas Lepejian, the restaurant owner’s son, has been arrested several times during the restaurant’s battle with the city, once for removing the city’s sandbags.
The restaurant was finally evicted from its storefront this summer.