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.