By Matt McKinney and James Eli Shiffer
As part of its crackdown on crime in clubland, the city plans to revoke the liquor licenses of two Warehouse District clubs -- Envy and Bootleggers. The action was taken after city regulatory staff say they observed overserving of alcohol, a rash of fights and marijuana smoking in the bathroom. Letters were sent Tuesday to both bars announcing that the city staff recommended the revocations to the City Council.
The announcement came at a morning news conference in which Mayor R.T. Rybak and other city leaders described their efforts to curb the violence that often breaks out at closing time, particularly following 18-and-older events on Sunday nights.
"These two places do not deserve to have an on-sale liquor license," said Grant Wilson, manager of the city's business licensing division.
The clubs have three options, according to the city's notice: Close, allow the City Council to decide whether or not to revoke the liquor license, or appeal the notice to an administrative law judge. The City Council, after the administrative law judge's report is complete, would still have the option to revoke the club's liquor license.
Of the two clubs, Envy appears to have been the more dysfunctional, according to the city's notice. Wilson said his staff found a crowded, dangerous and underaged bar scene there, with people smoking marijuana in the bathrooms, fights breaking out between customers and employees and underage patrons in areas where alcohol was being served. He said the bar's management failed on several occassions to meet with police regarding these and other concerns.
The city has also reported at least 12 crimes at Envy Nightclub so far this year, ranging from theft to assault and robbery. Envy Nightclub, at 400 N. 1st Av., is owned by James and Susan Beamon of Grand Group Entertainment, according to the city's notice.
The city's notice against Bootleggers at 323 N. 1st Av., said the bar admitted and served a drunk person on April 1; allowed patrons to drink after 2:30 a.m.; served alcohol after 2 a.m. and owes $1,500 to the city for false alarms. Bootleggers is owned by Deepak Nath under the business name Inception Entertainment, according to city records. Nath told city staff, however, that Susan Beamon has been running the day-to-day operations of Bootleggers since May, according to the city's notice.