Two establishments in Williston lost their liquor licenses at Tuesday's City Commission Meeting.
Commissioners voted unanimously to revoke the liquor license for Heartbreakers, and suspend the license for The Shop Bar for one week, contingent upon the owners meeting requirements set forth by the city.
City Attorney Taylor Olson presented the case for both establishments before the assembled commissioners.
Citing multiple violations of city liquor ordinances, Olson turned the floor over to Detective Lt. Daniel Dery of the Williston police regarding reported calls for service for Heartbreakers. Dery explained that after reviewing calls from August 2017 to August 2018, there were more than 80 calls for service involving Heartbreakers, whereas other establishments only had 20 to 30 calls for the same period.
Of those calls, Dery said 55 of them required police action to resolve and de-escalate the situation.The majority of the calls, he said, were for fights and assaults.
After hearing from Dery, Greg Hennessy, attorney representing Heartbreakers, addressed the commission, stating that other bars within the city had also had similar issues, and added that Heartbreakers felt singled out specifically. Hennessy said he did not feel a suspension of Heartbreaker's license was warranted, and stated that bar manager John Doobie was willing to take the necessary steps to work with the Williston police and the commission to resolve the reported issues.
Commissioner Tate Cymbaluk pointed out that Heartbreakers had already had their license suspended twice before, and stated that Heartbreakers has been "a problem from the get-go" since it opened. He added that with the violence that had occurred at the establishment, residents are afraid to go into that area, with Heartbreakers being recognized as the main cause.
Cymbaluk continued that it was the city's responsibility to ensure a safe community for its residence, and made the motion that the city revoke Heartbreaker's liquor license effective immediately. The commission passed the motion unanimously.
The commission then heard from Olson and representatives for The Shop Bar. After hearing from Olson, Dery and attorneys representing The Shop's owners, Cymbaluk made a motion to suspend The Shop's license for a period of one week, contingent upon owners coming into compliance with all city ordinances and properly filling out the city's liquor license application. If not within compliance after that week, The Shop's license would remain suspended for an additional week.
Cymbaluk stated that if The Shop was unable to come into compliance after those two weeks, their license would be revoked.
After the votes, representatives for both Heartbreakers and The Shop exited the commission meeting before they could be reached for comment.