A Canoga Park restaurant is expected to face opposition from police and others today in its efforts to get city approval to install a 200-square-foot dance floor.
Police say that Don Diego’s Coco Loco Night Club in the 7200 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard has drawn complaints from the neighborhood.
But a spokesman for the restaurant’s operator, Maria Elena Moron, said that there have been no serious crime problems on the premises, and that Moron simply wants dancing to go with the live Spanish music already performed legally there. Moron, who took over the restaurant six months ago, has maintained that the restaurant was built with dancing in mind and that the city is now unfairly trying to limit the use of the property.
Moron has appealed a decision to deny the permit for dancing made by Los Angeles Associate Zoning Administrator Daniel Green earlier this fall. The city Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the appeal at a hearing today.
The business is “not a positive business for the community,” said Jayme Vermaat, LAPD vice officer. Vermaat said police conducted a sting operation at the restaurant Nov. 19 and cited several people for misdemeanors, including a manager and three woman who were illegally soliciting customers for drinks. She said the manager had hired the women to solicit drinks from customers; the bar then overcharged for the drinks, she said.
Now, Vermaat said, police will oppose the owner’s application for a permit for dancing because they believe that the establishment promotes crime in the area.