Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ice House License Denied Despite Earlier Police Praise

The Portland City Council voted unanimously on August 21st (6-0, three Councilors absent) not to renew the liquor license of Popeye’s Ice House on York Street in the West End. Portland police recommended the license denial, despite praise they gave the bar earlier this summer.
The decision will be appealed before state liquor authorities, according to the Ice House’s attorney Gary Prolman. The bar will remain open in the meantime.

Several neighbors spoke at the August 21st Council meeting, complaining about a number of issues. Owners of the bar say they are being penalized for their increased cooperation with the Portland Police Department.

Just three months ago, Portland police officials praised the operators of the bar on York Street for proactive measures the bar had taken to address public safety concerns related to the operation of the neighborhood pub.

In a May 4th letter to Ice House owner Jeffrey Orne, Police Lieutenant Janine L. Roberts, who headed the Department’s Tactical Enforcement Unit, commended the staff for filing Criminal Trespass papers against patrons causing a disturbance at the bar. She also praised Ice House employees for providing a video surveillance tape to police investigators, helping them in charging the offending patron.

Roberts said that bar owners often only hear from the police when there is a problem, and she wanted to note the positive changes the bar had made and encourage the owners to continue in that direction.

Roberts noted that there are still neighborhood issues surrounding the bar, but documented police calls showed the owners were working cooperatively with police and following their suggestions in attempting to resolve any problems.


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