Tuesday, October 17, 2006

State Liquor Board to Hear Ice House License Appeal

Members of the State’s Liquor Control Board will hear an appeal by owners of the Ice House Tavern on York Street at a meeting at Portland City Hall on October 19th. The Portland City Council voted unanimously on August 21st (6-0, three Councilors absent) not to renew the liquor license of the local bar.

Portland police recommended the license denial, despite praise they gave the bar earlier this summer.

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.

In a written public statement, the owners made a point-by-point defense of the charges made at the August 21st meeting, including an emphatic denial that any liquor was served to an intoxicated man who had come into the bar after a day of drinking elsewhere. They also disputed West End City Councilor Karen Geraghty’s assertion that there were a high number of calls to police because of incidents at the bar, saying that there have been no arrests there at all. They also offered to show videos from their security cameras of any incident in question in an effort to retain their license.

Portland police officials had previously praised the operators of the bar 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.

The Ice House remains open.


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