As the Thousand Oaks community faces the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting and raging wildfires, Brian Hynes must decide whether or not he will reopen the Southern California establishment that became a “horrific scene” after 12 people were killed last week, CNN reported.
The Borderline Bar & Grill has routinely been a place of comfort for residents of the town 40 miles west of Los Angeles but has remained closed following the tragic night of November 7 when a Marine veteran opened fire inside the establishment before taking his own life.
Owner Brian Hynes has not determined whether or not to reopen the Western-themed bar but knows eventually he will come to a decision.
“With what Borderline is to…my community, I don’t know if [reopening] is going to feel right,” he told CNN’s Brook Baldwin on Monday. “But once I stand inside that building, it’s going to be like going to my childhood home, and I’ll know. I’ll know then.”
He noted that fear would not be a motivation to keep the doors closed to the bar that has come to be a safe haven of sorts.
“If it works, we will definitely reopen, but right now…with the fires going on in our same community…I’m trying to get people back in their home beds, with their pets and their families,” Hynes said.
“The Borderline’s been there 25 years … that place was our place of safety and our place of comfort in these rough times.” Brian Hynes, owner of the Borderline Bar & Grill, reflects on the role of his establishment before last week's deadly shooting https://t.co/Rj7YNAnNFu pic.twitter.com/LQrrNVCbFo
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 12, 2018
Just a day after the shooting, two wildfires ignited on both sides of Thousand Oaks, forcing many of its residents to leave everything behind and evacuate, and firefighters that came to the bar to help in the wake of the shooting quickly sped off again hours later to fight the ferocious flames, CNN noted.
We’re not out of danger yet… #Repost @lafdstation82 with @get_repost
Members from @lafdstation82 , @losangelesfiredepartment and many other responding agencies continue to work tirelessly to contain these devastating fires. We are grateful for … https://t.co/sVmtFjdzqv pic.twitter.com/20MlztVziG
— LAFD Talk (@LAFDtalk) November 12, 2018
The Borderline Bar & Grill was a place of refuge for many, including some survivor’s of last year’s massacre in Las Vegas when 58 people were killed at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. A few were present for last Thursday’s college country night when the shooting took place, including 27-year-old Telemachus Orfanos, who was killed at the bar.
Telemachus Orfanos, who went by Tel, was a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest music festival mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, his mother said. On Wednesday, he was killed at Borderline. https://t.co/9h9NcevNtF pic.twitter.com/VPy5NLTGNU
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) November 8, 2018
Hynes told CNN that the bar had been around for 25 years, 24 of which he had been a patron, and that he has been its owner for the last decade.
“And when something happens in this community, that’s where we go,” he added. “Fundraisers, everything, is always done there. And that place was our place of safety and our place of comfort in these rough times.”
The Borderline Family sends our love, prayers and deepest condolences to the victims and their families in the wake of this horrific tragedy. Thousand Oaks is more than the community we do business in but rather our… https://t.co/kx9xAkoHPJ
— Borderline Bar (@Borderlinebar) November 8, 2018
“We just don’t know what to do, and obviously, we’re trying to come together,” Hynes said. “We’re so sorry for the families of our patrons and the employees, and just everybody who was injured.”
Last Friday, TMZ reported that Brian Hynes’ attorney Troy Slaten assured that the bar would reopen upon the conclusion of the police investigation, though they did not have an idea of when that might be.