Court Approves Injunction Against Los Imperios

Los Imperios, 904 Farmington Ave., West Hartford. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Los Imperios has been ordered to pay more than $76,000 in expenses incurred by the Town of West Hartford for providing police detail, to comply with town ordinances, and to stop operating as a nightclub.

By Ronni Newton

Los Imperios is now under a court order to comply with West Hartford ordinances and Connecticut statutes, and must repay costs incurred by the town for police detail.

“The court did issue an order granting our request for a temporary injunction,” Assistant Corporation Counsel Garmon Newsom said late Monday.

Newsom, the police chief, property owner Lisaraj and its attorney, and Los Imperios owner Ernesto Leon appeared in Connecticut Superior Court on Nov. 27 for a hearing on the complaint filed by the Town of West Hartford in early October. Defendant Guillermina Marquez was absent from the proceeding, and although Leon was present, an attorney for Los Imperios did not attend.

The order, signed by Judge Robert Shapiro, requires the establishment to comply with town ordinances, including stopping DJ entertainment, or face fines and allow the West Hartford Police to evacuate and close down Los Imperios whenever they are found to be not in compliance.

Specifically, the order states that there “shall not be any DJs or live performances until the Town of West Hartford issues a new entertainment license to defendants Los Imperios, Leon, and/or Marquez.”

The order allows Los Imperios to “operate as a restaurant, but not as a bar, nightclub, or dance hall.” The establishment is not permitted to sell alcohol to minors or anyone who is intoxicated.

The order also specifically states that “patrons and Los Imperios’ staff shall not disturb Los Imperios’ neighbors’ peaceful enjoyment of their premises.”

The court has also ordered Leon and/or Marquez to “immediately remit” the $76,252 in costs for the private duty police detail assigned by West Hartford’s police chief.

Penalties of $250 per day will be assessed for each violation of town ordinance, and under the order, the West Hartford Police Department has been authorized to “evacuate and close Los Imperios for the remainder of that business day and for any other business day that defendants Los Imperios, Leon, and/or Marquez fail to comply” with the requirements of the order.

The order also states that the owner of the 904 Farmington Ave. property, Lisaraj, cannot lease the space to any tenant for operation of a bar, nightclub or dance hall – all of which are prohibited under Town of West Hartford’s code.

As the establishment learns of the latest court order, Los Imperios is also awaiting a decision from the Liquor Control Commission regarding the status of its liquor license. A remonstrance hearing was held last week at the request of neighbors who have asked that the establishment’s liquor license not be renewed.

The Liquor Control Commission has 90 days to make its decision and in the meantime Los Imperios is allowed to serve alcohol because its permit status is “active under review.”

Los Imperios is also facing eviction due to non-payment of rent to its landlord, Lisaraj. A trial on that complaint was held on Nov. 21, and Jeffrey Sachs, attorney for Lisaraj, told We-Ha.com on Thursday afternoon that the “landlord won the case” and Los Imperios must vacate the premises by March 15, 2018, or earlier if back rent is not paid in accordance with a set schedule.

According to Sachs, the business will be permitted to remain on the premises through March 15 only if they make payments of $8,400 in back rent on or before Dec. 15, Jan. 15, Feb, 15, and March 7, and pay all water bills.

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