Letter to the Editor: Memory of Tin Horn Flats Still Lingers


Letter to the Editor:

This week I was riding my bicycle along Magnolia Blvd. and stopped for a look as I passed what was once the Tinhorn Flats Saloon. It stands today a rotting old wooden shack with only dusty debris inside that was in 2021 the center of Burbank’s battle against the covid pandemic that caused the deaths of 1.1 million Americans in less than 2 years, with over 100,000 of them in Calif.
Its now becoming a distant memory of how Tinhorn Flats became the lone business in Burbank to defy the emergency LA County health order to shut down, while arrogantly refusing to require masks worn by their staff and patrons, boasting that most of them would never get their free covid vaccines available a block away at Walgreens. It took several months for the City of Burbank and its police dept. to finally close the Tinhorn, which resulted in about 200 protesters, most of them from outside Burbank, showing up there several Saturdays in a row to loudly protest while flying Trump banners and Confederate flags, threatening violence if their favorite local drinking establishment was not re-opened and free from covid safety requirements.
The son of the owner of the Tinhorn, Lucas Lepjian, was arrested 3 times for forcibly removing the plywood board from the saloon’s doorway and reopening it using a portable generator until finally the city erected an 8 ft. fence set in concrete around the building. The controversy ended quietly and abruptly when the wife of the Tinhorn sold the building she’d recently gained legal ownership of during her divorce proceedings. 
The Tinhorn Saloon stands today as a sad looking monument to the lengths America had to go through to end the thousands of horrible deaths per week from a highly communicable disease that is still with us, but thanks to most people becoming vaccinated is now far more manageable. Gratefully, our hospitals are no longer filled with dying covid patients, that is until the next pandemic rears its ugly head and we again must take drastic measures to save ourselves!
Doug Weiskopf
    BurCal Apartments8715


    1. Tin Horn Flats was shut down illegally using incorrect and false data. This was known at the time and has been proven over and over again since this episode. The City of Burbank, rather than supporting a long time small business, used the police department as their own enforcers to shut down this business. The writer of the letter has repeatedly posted incorrect information in regards to covid online and attacked many people in doing so.

      A majority of the protesters who were there were not there to support THF, but rather took it as an opportunity to peddle their own ideology while trying to make a buck. THF stands now as a reminder of what the government is willing to do to its citizens to maintain control over them. Hopefully the good people of Burbank, and all across the world, will not forget what their governments, local and national, did to them unnecessarily over the last few years. These governments lied about the unproven “vaccine” they forced people to get and required people to wear masks that did nothing but virtue signal. As a whole, the people of Burbank are good people and hopefully they will not fall for these types of action from their “leaders” ever again.

      • First let’s get the facts straight. Tinhorn’s permit required them to follow all county health orders. It’s something they agreed to as a condition of doing business in Burbank. They had prior “closures” for rats, vermin, cockroaches or whatever the violations were….do you also believe that restaurants should just be able to remain open because of “freedom” in these cases of possible public health endangerment? Or because the restaurant in it’s infinite wisdom just knows what’s safe and what is not and should be able to decide for us? You don’t want the government to have control, but you want each individual business to make its own rules? How would that work exactly in a county with 26,000 restaurants?
        The government did not force a vaccine on you nor were the owners/mgmt of Tin Horn Flats forced to vaccinate themselves, so that’s nonsense. They were, however, required to follow county health department mandates and they failed to do so, which is the reason they have been unsuccessful in any court proceedings. I’m not sure why you’re still calling this an “illegal” shutdown but you do have a right to disagree with court decisions I suppose. Please continue to be sure and do your civic duty when it’s your turn to serve on a jury, as I’m sure you have done in the past.

    2. Let’s not glorify the establishment formerly known as: Tin Horn Flats. Their behavior during the height of the pandemic is nothing to be proud of or to use as a reminder of those who perished from Covid-19.

      As someone who had to deal with the fallout of many years of loud partying, drunken behaviors and prostitution in front of my house, Tin Horn Flats was never the bastion of goodness, dignity or neighborhood pride some people would have us believe.

      They defied laws put in place to protect the public during an unprecedented time of sickness and a much-needed lockdown. They should have complied, and if they had, they might, to my chagrin, still be in business today.

      No one is above the law and in a civilized society, we abide by the laws put in place to protect all of us, not a select few. Their abhorrent behavior should stand as a reminder to those of us who seek to live in a society that provides a safe harbor to our citizens and to future generations.

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