Los Angeles County lifted its controversial ban on outdoor dining on Friday, but it’s still going after two restaurants that it says violated the nearly two-month-long order.
The county filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Cronies Sports Grill in Agoura Hills and Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill in Burbank, according to the L.A. Daily News. The suit alleges their outdoor dining service was a public nuisance.
The county wants an abatement directing both restaurants to show compliance with the ban and to allow inspectors into the properties. The county also seeks civil penalties for each day they violated the order.
The county instituted the measure in late November, drawing fierce criticism from the restaurant and hospitality industry. Coronavirus cases were rapidly rising and the Southern California region ran out of ICU beds within a month.
The county said it issued several notices and directives to the restaurants to “do the right thing” and follow the order. Public health inspectors reported seeing people eating at both restaurants in December.
Regarding its decision to sue two days before lifting the outdoor dining ban, the county said in a statement that the violation of the orders “constitute a public nuisance and must be stopped.”
“The complaint asks the court to order the defendants … to comply with the health officer orders to safeguard the health of our county’s residents during this devastating public health emergency,” the statement said. [LADN] — Dennis Lynch