Board rules against Gitana

Ben Godar

The fate of Gitana Restaurant will rest with the City Council after

the Planning Board on Monday night voted unanimously to recommend

revoking the establishment’s conditional-use permit.


Board members concurred with a Burbank Police report that stated

the bar and nightclub is putting a strain on police services.

“What we’re trying to do is prevent a homicide,” Capt. Ed Skavarna

said. “We do not like the situation, and do not want it to stay as it



The nightclub has been under scrutiny since May, when police

officials began billing Gitana for service calls beyond the three per

month allowed under its conditional-use permit.

Gitana was billed $6,779 for 63 excessive calls from October

through May, including some for fights that required more than a

dozen officers and the police helicopter. The bills have yet to be

paid, restaurant officials said.


Several representatives of the nightclub at 260 E. Magnolia spoke

on behalf of the establishment at the Monday meeting. They said

police officials had not told them the number of calls was considered

excessive until the billing process began. Owner Jackie Deleon said

many of the calls being attributed to Gitana actually happened

outside the facility.

“We don’t have problems inside,” she said. “All the problems are

in the parking lot and some in the patio.”


Gitana officials said they have responded to police concerns by

increasing security and have reduced the number of calls for service.

Police reported six incidents related to Gitana in June and three so

far in July.

Skavarna said the operators of Gitana have communicated regularly

with police, but the nightclub still attracts a clientele that causes

more problems than other local drinking establishments.

“They’ve done the things we’ve asked them to do, but the problems

continue,” he said. “I believe it has to do with the kind of folks

the location is attracting.”

Planning board members rejected the notion that incidents outside

of the nightclub were caused by other businesses in the area, and

member Mitchell Thomas said the operators should have known there was

a problem as soon as large fights began occurring.

“If you didn’t know you had a problem and needed the police

department to inform you of that, I don’t think you know how to run

your business,” he said.

The council is expected to consider whether to revoke Gitana’s

permit sometime in September, city officials said.