L.A. County settles with restaurant that defied COVID-19 dining restrictions

iStock/Getty Images
Photo credit iStock/Getty Images

Los Angeles County has settled a lawsuit against an Agoura Hills restaurant that repeatedly flouted public health officials’ ban on outdoor dining at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cronies Sports Grill at Kanan Road and Thousand Oaks Boulevard allegedly continued to serve diners outdoors in spite of a temporary prohibition issued by L.A. County in November 2020.

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David Foldes, a co-owner, said the county’s COVID-19 restrictions on small businesses was “government overreach,” and his defiance was a survival strategy.

Though the county lifted the outdoor dining ban in January 2021, Cronies continued to operate without a health permit. The county said Cronies operated without a public health permit for most of 2021.

The county filed suit later in January. The City of Agoura Hills also filed a criminal complaint that month against the restaurant for operating without necessary business licenses and permits.

The “only reason” he and his partners agreed to the settlement with L.A. County last week was because it would prompt the city to drop its case, Foldes said.

According to the settlement, Cronies’ owners will pay $9,999 in abatement costs. The county will suspend a $25,000 civil penalty unless the restaurant continues to violate health codes or current COVID-19 rules.

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