Liquor License At Stake

July 29, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners set a hearing date last week to consider whether they should pull the liquor license from the Margarita Grill at 25 Ottawa Ave. SW.

The Grand Rapids Police Department said it has responded to 136 calls over the past 18 months for assistance inside of, in front of or within a tenth of a mile of the bar, located across from Van Andel Arena. Sixty-one of those calls were for assaults, including a homicide that took place down the street from the bar in January.

The City Attorney’s Office said Ottawa Venture LLC, the bar’s owner, has repeatedly failed to enforce fire code capacity limits and has served underage drinkers. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has fined the bar’s owners for having too many customers on the premise and for selling alcohol to minors.

Assistant City Attorneys Margaret Bloemers and Elizabeth White have concluded that “this ongoing situation constitutes a nuisance requiring revocation of the liquor license.”

“We’re not going to argue our case before you this morning,” said Bloemers to city commissioners last week. “The purpose of today is to give notice to (Ottawa Venture LLC) that there will be a public hearing.”

Commissioners set Sept. 2 for the hearing.

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