SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The City of Santa Barbara apparently sees a lengthy and detailed legal case ahead with the owners of the Flightline / High Sierra restaurant at the airport, and it needs outside legal help.
The City Attorney is asking for $250,000 for legal services with the firm Slaughter, Reagan & Cole, LLP, for special counsel services.
The case was filed last year and is now referred to as Flightline Restaurant, LLC, et al. v. City of Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara Superior Court.
The city says the case requires litigation support levels it can not sustain right now based in part on other legal cases going on.
The funds requested will come from the Airport Department operating Reserves.
The restaurant is represented by Santa Barbara Attorney A. Barry Cappello who filed the lawsuit claiming the city would not legally allow a transfer of the restaurant license from High Sierra Grill to Warren Butler and the Flightline Restaurant he was establishing at the site on Firestone Road.
High Sierra was not financially successful and Butler was managing the restaurant as part of a plan to eventually take on the lease and keep it open with a new concept.
Many pieces of air and space memorabilia had been brought in creating a one-of-a-kind museum-restaurant. Butler had also established some income generating events such as Latin music nights, and a room for small comedy shows twice a week.He said these actions kept the restaurant open, generated income, protected the jobs for employees and prevented the building from becoming vacant, which it is now.
Capello says the city's actions caused financial harm to High Sierra and Butler in excess of $5-million.
The Santa Barbara City Council will take up the matter at today's meeting.
For more information go to : Santa Barbara City Council Agenda