Iowa Judge Calls Shenanigans On City for Liquor License Denial
Iowa's Alcoholic Beverage Control Division overturned the Davenport City Council's decision to deny Shenanigan's liquor license renewal. This according to a report in the Quad City Times.
Davenport denied the bar's renewal of their liquor license citing concerns stemming from an argument that started in the bar that led to a shooting outside the bar in March. Additionally, Davenport police had been called to the bar 24 times that led to them describing the bar as a hot spot. The City and Shenanigan's have a contentious history as well, including the bar's temporary closure in 2015 after a stabbing near the bar that was later determined had nothing to do with the bar.
The Davenport City Council members pointed to what they call "a longstanding negligence and an unwillingness to work with the city to improve security" as a reason for the license denial. The city argued that Shenanigan's owners allowed criminal activity on the premises and the owner lacked good moral character.
Administrative Judge Tricia Johnston with Iowa's Alcoholic Beverage Control Division disagreed. According to the Times her issued opinion points out “Shenanigan’s has no liquor law violations nor are there any criminal convictions stemming from any acts of the owner or employees as relates to the operation of Shenanigan’s in the course of the last year." She also points out that Davenport hasn't charged any employees or the licensee with any violations related to the liquor license.
I've followed this story with a little bit of interest because while it does seem like the bar has a cranky relationship with city officials; It seems to me the city is trying to blame the bar for crime in the area that isn't stemming from the bar's operation. It seems the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Control Division has noticed that as well.
Davenport’s chief attorney Tom Warner said Thursday the city would ask the state to review and reverse the ruling.
I don't think we need a reversed ruling. It's obvious both sides rub each other the wrong way. Apparently the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Commission needs to play "daddy" and tell the bar and the city to bury the hatchet and stop acting like babies. The best outcome would be the bar working with the city to make sure problems that start in the bar are minimized. And the city not assuming a problem near the bar stems from the bar.