CARBONDALE — A few liquor license holders will have to wait to see if their licenses will be renewed for the upcoming year.
The Carbondale Local Liquor Commission will host separate hearings for Hollywood Lounge, Stix, and Saluki Bar/Levels concerning the renewal of those licenses.
All other liquor licenses before the commission were approved in one motion Tuesday.
Hollywood Lounge had its liquor license temporarily suspended twice in the past year. The first incident occurred in July when a shooting injured one person, prompting the commission to suspend the bar's license for 24 hours. The bar was also fined $2,000.
In April, the license was suspended for an entire weekend when the commission shut down the bar after Chicago Police warned Carbondale officials that a rapper from Chicago, FBG Duck, who was scheduled to play a show at the bar, has been associated with violence in the past.
On Tuesday, city attorney Jamie Snyder said the license holder and bar owner, Bobby McBride, was recently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. During a search of his vehicle, a loaded firearm was located and McBride does not possess a Firearms Owners’ Identification card. He is currently being charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony, in Jackson County. Court documents show he is scheduled for a jury trial in August.
Councilman Adam Loos said he isn’t at the point where he thinks the license shouldn’t be renewed, but the commission should take a closer look. He said there have been instances where the marketing and control of the business has seemed to be out of the owner’s control.
“I’m not inclined to renew it without hearing there is a plan in place to gain and maintain the control and marketing of the business and keeping that in the hands of the people who are responsible,” Loos said.
Snyder said if McBride was convicted of a felony, his office would begin the process to revoke the license.
Saluki Bar/Levels will be required to attend a meeting to discuss the use of amplified sound in a beer garden.
There wasn’t much support for the establishment having amplified sound outside. Councilman Jeff Doherty said he could not support it at all.
“This establishment, I think it is well-documented, has become a community nuisance with its excessive amplified sound,” he said. “There are regular complaints throughout the community documented by the police department.”
Loos said it could be better to set reasonable limits on amplified sound than to start banning it.
City manager Gary Williams said it is extremely difficult to determine sound levels even with a decibel reader because of environmental factors.
“Based on time of day, time of year, humidity and other factors, all cause sound to travel differently,” he said.
If the city did implement a sound level ordinance, Williams said enforcement would be tough, and if the city were challenged, it would most like lose.
“We came to the conclusion that we would have to remain status quo or prohibit amplified sound everywhere,” Williams said.
Usually with license holders that utilize a beer garden, Williams said, when complaints come in and the city shows up, the establishment complies.
“But this particular applicant has a history of not wanting to comply,” he said.
Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry’s first inclination was to grant the liquor license but suspend amplified sound in the beer garden throughout the summer until the city could figure out a way to measure it.
Snyder said he wasn’t sure if it was something the city could do with a hearing because the licensee should have the opportunity to give a defense about why it should have the amenity.
Earlier in the same meeting, the commission suspended Stix’s liquor license for two weeks from June 18 to July 1 and fined the establishment more than $2,800 for two 17-year-old women in the bar and over-occupancy on two nights in January.
Additionally, the bar was found guilty of having a 13-year-old inside the facility in October 2017. In February, the bar was found guilty of having a 17-year-old male in the bar. The punishment for that incident was a 24-hour suspension, which was appealed and has not happened as of Thursday.
“We have had a set of repeat violations with no indication from the applicant that they take these seriously and I think we should set it for a hearing,” Loos said.
The commission also on Tuesday accepted quarterly alcohol arrests by the Carbondale Police Department from Jan. 1 to March 31. Stix was found to have nine underage possession or consumption of alcohol violations in the first three months of the year.
The same report showed Traxx had six violations of underage drinking and Saluki Bar had two violations.
There were no dates announced Tuesday about when the hearing would take place. Key West was also considered separately, but to change the type of license to a B3 — stand-alone video game license — because it receives more than 50 percent of its revenue from video gaming over alcohol sales.
Scott Uffelman, owner of Key West, said he would like to have a B2 license, which would require him to have at least 51 percent alcohol sales. The commission told him that if he can fix his numbers, he would be able to switch the license back next year. The different license does not mean he has to change anything about the way he operates the business.