Code compliance officers are investigating businesses at the Edgemar Center for the Arts on Main Street. (File photo)

MAIN STREET — As first reported in the Daily Press on Sept. 11, the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has successfully concluded the prosecution of the local restaurant Brick and Mortar Restaurant on Main Street. Brick and Mortar had been charged with persistently exceeding permit restrictions by operating as an unpermitted bar/nightclub with alcohol service to persons who did not intend to purchase food, refusing to comply with City Administrative Citations and maintaining a public nuisance.
Prior to referring the case to the City Attorney’s Office, Santa Monica Police and Code Enforcement Officers attempted to work with the restaurant’s operator for many months, issuing warnings and then later, citations with fines. However, these efforts were unavailing and neighbors continued to be negatively impacted by intoxicated persons leaving the establishment at late-night hours. As a result, the City Attorney’s Office commenced prosecution.
On Sept. 4, Brick and Mortar pleaded “no contest” to fourteen misdemeanor counts of violating the Restaurant’s permit conditions, failing to comply with City Administrative Citations and maintaining a public nuisance. Under a plea agreement with the City Attorney’s Office, Brick and Mortar was placed on 30 months of probation and ordered to: not organize or participate in pub-crawl events, not provide alcohol bottle service without meals, allow persons of all ages to enter at all times, not check IDs or queue patrons at the door, operate consistent with a City-approved floor plan that’s conducive to a restaurant experience, post signage informing patrons that the restaurant may only serve alcohol to patrons intending to also purchase food, pay over $6,700 in restitution to the City to cover City investigative costs, pay thousands more in court fines and fees, comply with all other applicable laws and permit conditions.
“This is a positive and fair result,” said Daniel Salerno, Santa Monica Police Captain in charge of the Department’s Vice Unit. “All businesses, including restaurants, must operate within their permit conditions. Under the City’s laws, restaurants cannot become bars/nightclubs without first getting proper City review and permits. Restaurants that operate as bars/nightclubs, without proper review and permits, can create many public safety problems for the residents and the Police Department. Noise and the behavior of intoxicated persons, especially during late-night hours, significantly disrupt neighborhoods. The Police Department, in cooperation with our Code Enforcement and City Attorney’s Office partners, will continue to aggressively and evenhandedly enforce local laws that protect public health, safety and welfare. Additionally, the Department understands that Brick and Mortar has now committed to changing its operations to comply with local laws. We are very happy about this commitment and we look forward to working with Brick and Mortar, and any other business that needs our assistance, to ensure that they can operate successfully in Santa Monica and within the bounds of the law.”

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