What happens when a bar or club gets “too hot to handle” for a city? The city may try to strip it of its liquor license, effectively shutting the whole operation down.
That’s the predicament facing the owner of the popular Beta Nightclub in Denver. While the final verdict has yet to be rendered, the city official that oversaw the hearing with the Department of Excise and Licenses now recommends that the club’s liquor license be revoked.
Why did the city take this action?
According to the owner, the Beta is simply being scapegoated by local businesses looking to blame someone or something for the problems with crime in the area. According to the police, there has been gang activity on the premises of the club, drug dealing by some of the patrons, unlicensed security guards and numerous other problems.
In essence, the City of Denver has declared the Beta a public nuisance. They claim that the club has permitted fights on the premises, allowed alcohol to be served after closing (2:00 a.m.) and created a focal point for assaults, robberies and even murders in the area.
What can you do to avoid a similar problem?
The owner of the Beta denied responsibility for the problems in the area, saying, “I just feel like I have nothing to do with it, it happens after hours when we close at like 3:30 in the morning.”
That’s the wrong approach to take. Restaurant and bar owners need to be proactive about setting the right tone or atmosphere for their businesses if they want to protect their licenses. That generally means having adequate, licensed security on the site, having a no-nonsense policy when it comes to illegal activities inside the bar (like dealing drugs) and refusing service to anybody who causes trouble.
If you value your liquor license, don’t let it be put in danger by the misbehavior of your patrons. That’s a very real possibility.