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Officers want permit revoked

Urartu restaurant has had more than 40 complaints since it opened. It's also accused of code violations.

June 11, 2010|By Veronica Rocha

CITY HALL — Police and code enforcement officers this week testified in support of revoking the operating permit of a La Crescenta restaurant accused of operating as a banquet hall and other code violations.

Urartu was issued a permit in 2008 to operate a full-scale restaurant at 3463 Foothill Blvd., where a Shakey's Pizza had been for more than 30 years, according to a Community Planning Department report.

But since the restaurant opened, it has been the source of more than 40 complaints to the Glendale Police Department, and has been cited for illegally expanding the floor areas to accommodate large private banquets, officials said.

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"It just seems that they have knowledge of all of these issues and they are not dealing with them," city planner Wolfgang Krause said at the meeting on Wednesday.

The restaurant has also violated the city's smoking restrictions, hosted live entertainment without proper permits, had intoxicated workers, fights, loud music and other issues, according to the report.

Krause, who was in charge of the revocation hearing, said he will review the evidence and write up a decision on the restaurant's permit issues at a later date.

If he agrees that Urartu violated the conditions of their permits, he could order a variety of sanctions, including ordering it to cease operations.

On June 2, residents voiced their concerns about Urartu's operations. Two days later, a code enforcement officer said he visited the restaurant and discovered that it was being used for a private party.

Police visited the restaurant June 4 and found bottles of vodka on the tables, a violation since the restaurant's operator, Serob Serobyan, had recently surrendered state alcohol license, Glendale Police Lt. Bruce Fox said.

A representative of Serobyan requested a continuance Wednesday, saying the restaurateur intended to retain attorneys in the matter, but was denied.

Neighborhood Service Inspector Tomas Soler inspected the restaurant in January 2009 after getting an anonymous tip about an illegal addition at the property.

He discovered a storage room, restroom, exit doors, plumbing, electrical lighting and windows were added the rear of the property, according to the planning report.

He attempted to conduct another inspection of the property at a later date, but a doorman didn't allow him to enter because of a private party inside — yet another violation of the restaurant's conditional use permit, officials said.

Residents also created a petition in May 2009 against the restaurant, according to the report. They later sent a letter outlining 71 incidents from June 2008 to this May that they said were detrimental to the neighborhood, Fox said.

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