LOS ANGELES, CA – The owners of The Classic Cat restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood filed a lawsuit against the city and county of Los Angeles on Monday.
The restaurant operator has leaned backwards to please the county and town to reach the goal posts that keep moving. This emerges from the Los Angeles Supreme Court complaint that the company uses a retractable roof that creates a COVID-safe outdoor deck and has added numerous protective measures, including improvements to plexiglass and ventilation.
“Meanwhile, unconstitutional shutdowns and restrictions prevail, while heads of government and health inspectors issue arbitrary orders while protecting health data from the public,” reads the lawsuit, in which inspectors began to question whether the outdoor patio was actually an indoor airflow operation and issued a quote.
Despite the owners’ best efforts, The Classic Cat received notice from a health inspector that the restaurant will have to close on Friday if it does not stop and refrain from the alleged violation, the lawsuit said.
The civil rights action applies for injunctive relief plus unspecified damage.
A county spokesman declined to comment directly on the lawsuit but made a statement.
“Since the pandemic began, Los Angeles County has been deeply committed to protecting the health and safety of its residents, responding in real time to a deadly virus that tragically claimed the lives of 21,000 people in Los Angeles county alone and fell ill to more than one A million others, “was the explanation.
A representative from the city of West Hollywood said the city council approved a local emergency declaration in March 2020 to ensure the availability of mutual aid and to ensure the health and safety of the population as it responds to the coronavirus.
“While the city of West Hollywood cannot comment on specific legal action, the city falls under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Department of Health and the city is actively enforcing the LA County Health Officer’s order and related protocols,” the statement said. “All businesses in the City of West Hollywood have a duty and responsibility to ensure the safety of their guests and employees.”
One of the owners of The Classic Cat says he understands the health concerns but thinks the actions taken in response are unfair.
“We understood the need to protect public safety during a pandemic and, like so many restaurant owners, we bent backwards to be as proactive as possible,” said Donn Berdahl, one of the restaurant owners. “However, our reopening has been delayed month after month. The longer the delays, the more our expenses pile up without incurring income and our employees face the prospect of losing their jobs.”
The Classic Cat attorneys say that the owners have no choice but to try to protect their investment, as well as the interests of the restaurant workers they consider family members, by filing a lawsuit against a “broad.” “vaguely transgressing government” protest. “
“Patience can only get you this far if you stick to the rules, but how are companies supposed to survive when the rules of the game are constantly changing?” Said plaintiffs attorney Rod Pacheco. “Small business owners, restaurant owners and workers need immediate protection. We need an immediate restraining order from an overarching government that has not provided health data to justify its capricious and arbitrary shutdown orders.”
The historic Classic Cat was a hugely popular stopover for locals and tourists, as well as celebrities such as the late Adam West, Charlton Heston and Jim Morrison, and Chevy Chase. Classic Cat’s modern owners say they wanted to build on that legacy but with an upscale feel and menu.
City News Service