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!