Local Business

Update on JP23: The City Council will hear an update regarding downtown bar JP23 compliance

The City Council will hear an update regarding downtown bar JP23 compliance at the Tues, April 18 meeting.

An April 18, 2023 memorandum from Police Chief Robert Dunn and City Prosecutor Gregory Palmer addressed to the city council lays out the history and is available in the backup materials for item 19 on the April 18 agenda.

•Feb 1, 2022: Council issued a written decision overruling the decision of Police Chief Dunn’s denial of JP23’s live entertainment permit renewal application. The stipulations attached included ceasing entertainment at 11 pm from Sunday to Wed. and 12am from Thurs. Through Friday, limiting occupancy to 299 and review by the council of the permit set for Oct. 31, 2022.

•Sept 30, 2022: According to the memorandum, a letter from City Prosecutor Palmer to Jacob Poozhikala informed him of remaining issues needing to be resolved before the October meeting, including improvements made without permits or approvals, lighting that had not been installed on the west exterior of the building, new security plan had not been submitted, music being played after the time limit imposed (based on police reports). Mr. Poozhikala was also asked to clarify who the new owners were and if he still had a role in the business.

•October 6, 2022: In a response letter, Mr. Poozhikala’s attorney Jennifer Harris denied music was being played after hours and addressed other points. She said that the business licenses and property were in process of being transferred to a new owner, expected to be completed by early Nov. 2022.

•Nov 2, 2022: Council was notified of the change of ownership to Makaveli dTF, LLC dba Chakos Social. An entertainment permit application and new security, operations, and floor plan were submitted by the new owner Luke Pathiyil. A written “Purchase of Business Agreement” was provided to the city by Mr. Pathiyil dated February 22, 2018. Mr. Poozhikala and Mr. Pathiyil executed it on July 1, 2022. The purchase price for all business equipment, inventory, records, files, trademarks, and names was zero dollars ($0.00). The sale will not close until the ABC licenses are transferred, the entertainment permit is approved, the extended patio is approved, the business licenses are approved, and the lease is signed. If conditions are not met, the selling agreement will be void. In the commercial sublease agreement signed on July 1, 2022, Mr. Poozhikala is the sublandlord, and Mr. Pathiyil is the subtenant. No term is mentioned.

•Feb 7, 2023: Police Chief Dunn and City Prosecutor Gregory Palmer met with Mr. Pathiyil at the Fullerton Police Department, where it was discovered Mr. Pathiyil is Mr. Poozhikala’s cousin and has a full-time work-at-home IT job for a company on the east coast. He has never operated a restaurant or bar and is being trained by Poozhikala. When the lease and all licenses are transferred, he will become the owner, but until then, Poozhikala remains the owner. According to the memorandum, the city believes that “Mr. Pathiyil is not a bona fide purchaser” and Mr. Poozhikala is responsible for a list of violations, including lack of permits and approvals, required lighting, and amplified music played after agreed-upon hours.

041823 ADM JP23 Update Attachment 1