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Downey sports bar fined thousands for revealing uniforms

Downey restaurant under fire for revealing uniforms
Downey restaurant under fire for revealing uniforms 02:23

After being fined more than $4,000 for its taste in uniform, Ojos Locos in Downey has gone on the offensive.

Under the city's dress code, food handlers are not allowed to bare their mid-riffs, any portion of the chest 3 inches below their collar bone, and any part of the leg 3 inches below the buttocks. 

"When it comes to food handlers, male or female, it's just not necessary to wear that type of uniform," Downey Mayor Mario Trujillo said. 

The restaurant chain, based out of Texas, sent a sketch of its uniforms and examples of its servers working at the Downey restaurant. The T-shirts are often cut into tank tops and paired with a short skirt and spandex underneath. A spokesman for the chain said the company's "standard uniform of skorts and T-shirts are legal and appropriate for our restaurant's theme."

"We look forward to winning our appeal and being reimbursed for the unwarranted fines levied," he continued. 

Trujillo said the company agreed to abide by the city's ordinance. He believes they may have misunderstood the law. 

The Cantina said its uniform is similar to what's worn in other sports bars and no more revealing than typical cheerleader uniforms. 

"I see some women walk around bra-less," customer Jerry Garza said. "I don't see a problem here. They're not walking around without bras ... You just treat everybody with respect and everything is fine. I don't see a problem. If they don't like it, don't come to the place."

The bar sits across the street from a Baptist church.

"That's inappropriate," Marilyn Johnson said after leaving bible study at the local church. 

Johnson said she previously attended another church in which the congregation took exception to a nearby bar. 

"We prayed for a bar across the street to shutdown," she said. "Then six months, it shut down."

So far, neither side is suing the other. Ojos Locos is also looking to get its money back for the fines during an appeals process that doesn't involve the courts.

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