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ORANGE COUNTY DIGEST

Anaheim : City Threatens to Shut Eatery Over Permits

July 07, 1986|Roxana Kopetman

City officials have threatened to close a popular '50s-style hamburger drive-in unless its owners acquire the necessary permits within two weeks.

"They're threatening to close us down," Dennis Williams, co-owner of Angelo's, said Saturday. "We got a 15-days-or-else notice."

The outlet at 211 N. Beach Blvd. opened a few months ago without securing approval as a drive-in, drive-through restaurant, although Angelo's owners said that other drive-in restaurants have operated on the site for about 10 years.

Williams complained that the city didn't check into permits through the restaurant's previous four owners--until Angelo's bought and opened the restaurant under its name. Disputing charges of harassment, city officials have said they enforce code regulations and check into items such as permits in response to citizens' complaints.

Angelo's ongoing dispute with the city--which began in 1981 with its outlet at 511 S. State College Blvd.--"is getting expensive," Williams said.

"You'd think we were soliciting drugs and prostitution," Williams said. "I run a clean business here."

One of the city's biggest complaints with Angelo's stems from the traffic, noise and litter that result from the hundreds of "cruisers" who city officials say visit the restaurant on the first Friday of each month, when owners of '50s hot rods gather at the restaurant with their vehicles.

On June 26, after a four-day trial, a jury found Angelo's not guilty of violating local zoning laws that require a permit for an outdoor patio. Had Angelo's owners been found guilty of the misdemeanor criminal charge, they would have faced a maximum $500 fine and six months in jail.

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