Restaurant owner refutes remarks from downtown group's spokesman

A downtown restaurant owner has refuted comments made in the Independent by the head of a political organization about their disagreements.

Alessandro Pirozzi, owner of Cucina Alessá, dismissed his restraining order request against Kim Kramer, spokesman for the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn., following an agreement reached through court mediation earlier this month.

Pirozzi claimed in the request that Kramer made threats of physical violence against his employees, disturbed his business and customers.

In the March 31 article, Kramer said the allegations were not true and that he is happy the case was appropriately dismissed. Derek Tran, Pirozzi's lawyer, said Kramer's comments are false or misleading.

"The restraining order was dismissed in the best interest of both parties," Tran said. "But we're not stating that there's any type of fault on either party. Now he's saying it was appropriately dismissed, inferring that there was lack of merit for that matter, and this is simply untrue."

Pirozzi is also unhappy with comments Kramer made in the article regarding their miscommunication over a bill more than a year ago, Tran said.

Kramer refused to comment.

Pirozzi filed the restraining order Feb. 14 following Kramer's visit to the restaurant on Super Bowl Sunday. Pirozzi said Kramer visited the restaurant on and before Super Bowl Sunday, asked questions about its operation, intimidated his employees and disturbed his customers. Kramer has denied the allegations.

Kramer visited three restaurants in downtown Huntington Beach on Super Bowl Sunday with clipboard in hand and asked for maximum occupancy information. Although Kramer said he did so politely, the Police Department received calls about his visits.

An Orange County Superior Court judge ordered Kramer and Pirozzi to enter into mediation March 11 in hopes of resolving the matter without having the judge rule on the case. The two reached a confidential agreement to keep it out of public access before Pirozzi decided to dismiss the case March 25.

"At the end of the day, it was never decided by a judge," Tran said. "Any agreement that we made, it was in hopes that both parties would part ways amicably as possible, considering the circumstances. It seems that this goal cannot be achieved anymore."

Tran said he is considering further legal action against Kramer and will take whatever action is available to protect the business owner's name and business.

"I want to make sure we have solid grounds to proceed," he said.

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