Thousand Oaks Bar Owner Unsure If Reopening Will ‘Feel Right’

The Borderline Bar & Grill was a scene to last week's deadly mass shooting that killed 12 people.

The inside of the Borderline Bar & Grill, where a light shines on the scene of a mass shooting on November 8, 2018.
David McNew / Getty Images

The Borderline Bar & Grill was a scene to last week's deadly mass shooting that killed 12 people.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

“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.