Restaurant files lawsuit against City of Salina, Kansas over burger mural

The Cozy Inn restaurant filed a lawsuit on Monday against the City of Salina over a mural on the side of its restaurant.

KSN News reports that last year, the City told the restaurant a mural on the side of the building violates the sign code policy. The mural features “burger-esque flying saucers piloted by aliens with blasts of ketchup and mustard.” It forced the business to put the project on pause. The mural remains unfinished.

In the filing, the restaurant’s owner, Steve Howard, claims the code violates free speech under the First Amendment. and allows for “discriminatory enforcement.” Howard is asking for a permanent injunction, stopping the City from taking action against the restaurant and the mural. He is not suing the City for money and wants to complete the mural, according to the lawsuit.

On Feb. 8, 2024, the lawsuit says the City sent a letter “which neither granted nor denied a permit” and placed his application “on-hold until a review of the sign regulations is complete.”

The Cozy Inn has been featured in Readers Digest and on the Travel Channel’s “101 Tastiest Place to Chow Down” and “America’s Top Ten Hamburgers.”