Exhausting alternatives to keeping Gitana restaurant and nightclub
open without cutting back on its hours and alcohol distribution, the
City Council on Tuesday revoked the business’ conditional-use permit,
all but shutting it down.
“We’re flabbergasted,” said Darryl Mounger, a Burbank attorney
representing Gitana. “The complaint the city has had was the
violence, but there has been no violence and [the council] would not
give us an opportunity to prove it.”
The council voted 4-1 in favor of revoking the permit. Mayor
Stacey Murphy voted against the revo- cation because it also involved
the business’ restaurant section, which she stressed was not part of
the reason for the violence around Gitana that prompted city staff’s
recommendation to revoke the permit.
Since late last year, the area around the restaurant and nightclub
and its clientele have been sources of police calls, for everything
from assaults to drunken-driving arrests, though those calls have
decreased in recent months.
City staff and Police Department officials have said Gitana, which
opened in July 1999 with a nightclub, upscale dining, sports bar and
billiards area, has become an increasing nuisance and a threat to
In recent weeks, no police problems have been reported, Mounger
told the council, adding that owners have voluntarily shut down the
“Rather than kill us, give us 30 days,” he said.
But officials argued that Gitana had a chance, and was even
notified of the city’s concern back in April. And last week, bucking
a staff recom- mendation that would close the nightclub for good, the
council voted only to amend the club’s permit, allowing it to stay
open, with stipulations.
Those included a six-month sunset on the permit, bumping back the
closing time from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. and shutting down the club
portion of the business. Staff also wanted a stipulation that Gitana
make timely payments toward its bills to repay the city for costs
incurred for police services.
But Gitana representatives and the property’s landlord, Robert
Gangi, said they could not go along with a revised permit without
severely affecting the business.
The revised closing time would hurt sales of alcohol, they said.
Because the permit applied to the entire club, not just its
individual sections, owners could not just stop at 1 a.m. and keep
serving alcohol in the restaurant section.
The arguments did not sway the council.
“Without the agreement, revocation is the only answer,” Councilman
Jef Vander Borght said.