The Lotta Bull Restaurant's man in a bull suit, a gimmick that got the establishment in trouble with Rockville's law governing advertising signs, has been legalized.
The man in the $300 bull suit, who waved to passing motorists to attract customers to the restaurant on Rockville Pike, got restaurateur Paul Tibolla a $75 citation last spring for a moving violation of a city law designed to relieve some of the city's advertising clutter.
But the Lotta Bull bull was viewed by some -- including Rockville Mayor Douglas Duncan -- as a clever gimmick. In the spirit of rewarding cleverness, the City Council last week changed the law.
The man in the bull suit is now allowed to roam downtown Rockville. And Tibolla didn't have to pay the fine.
But Tibolla is in trouble with the city again. He has another sign featuring a wooden bull standing next to a chalkboard listing the daily specials. He put it up in front of his restaurant and was cited earlier this month for violating an ordinance against portable signs. The fine: another $75.
Tibolla said he won't pay, and intends to contest the citation in court. He said city officials are out to get him because he beat the rap with the bull costume.
Linda McDermid, chief of licensing for Rockville, denies baiting the Lotta Bull. Enforcing the sign ordinances "is something we do all the time," she said. "You could ask any business owner."