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Monday, May 23, 2022

Tinhorn Flats Premises Quietly Sold

The property underneath Tinhorn Flats Saloon & Grill, the defunct Burbank bar which raised controversy for its repeated flouting of coronavirus restrictions this year, has been sold to a new owner.

The sale and escrow of the property at 623 Magnolia Blvd. closed on Nov. 9, according to a statement from the city of Burbank. The seller, Isabelle Lepejian, is the ex-wife of Tinhorn Flats’ owner Baret Lepejian and mother of 20-year-old Lucas Lepejian, who ran the restaurant and was arrested several times by Burbank police for violating orders to stay off the property and cease operations. 

The new owner is Old Fashioned Investment, a Utah-based company. The sale price was not disclosed. Fencing surrounding the property, which was placed there by Burbank authorities due to repeated violations of coronavirus restrictions, was removed on Nov. 12.

“At this point in time, the city has not received an application for reuse of the property,” read the statement from Burbank. “The litigation concerning Tinhorn Flats is ongoing.”

Isabelle Lepejian received possession of the building in June. It was turned over by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as the last step in the eviction process she initiated against Tinhorn Flats in May. The eviction and sale are separate from the ongoing litigation against Barfly Inc., the operating company of Tinhorn Flats.

Legal concerns for Tinhorn Flats have been ongoing since last year, at times garnering national attention. In December 2020, the bar had its health permit suspended by the L.A. County Department of Public Health for violating health officer orders by allowing outdoor dining. In February, after issuing a cease-and-desist order, the Burbank City Council voted to revoke the business license of the popular bar for refusing to stop service despite ongoing coronavirus concerns.

On March 12, a judge authorized the disconnection of the electricity in the bar because it remained open in defiance of the court order. Several days later, the city padlocked the doors at Tinhorn Flats. 

Lucas and Baret Lepejian, as well as a vocal group of community supporters, have continuously disregarded city orders, hosting regular protests and, on several occasions, cutting locks from the doors of the property that had been placed there by the city. Lucas has been arrested several times this year, including three times within two weeks in April – twice for violating a court order, and the third time for removing the sandbags placed in front of the business.

Beret Lepejian told the Los Angeles Times in June that he vowed not to pay $50,000 in fines he said the bar had racked up.

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert
Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering retail, hospitality and philanthropy for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. In addition to her current beat, she is particularly interested in criminal justice topics, health and science stories and investigative journalism. She received her AA in Humanities from Moorpark College in 2016, her BA in Communication from Cal Lutheran University in 2019 and followed it up with a MA in Specialized Journalism from USC in the summer of 2020. Through her work, Katherine aspires to help strengthen the fragile trust between members of the media and the public.

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