LIVERMORE FALLS – Selectmen voted 4-0 Wednesday to grant renewal of a liquor license and other permits for the Riverview Pub.
Besides the liquor license, special amusement, pool table and coin-operated amusement permits were approved with conditions to Wes Bowen, owner of Riverview Pub. Selectmen also requested police report back to them in 90 days to see if the conditions are working.
Chairman Kenny Jacques abstained from the vote because of a conflict. He previously asked Bowen three times not to let his patrons park on his property before Jacques posted the property to prohibit parking between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The pub came under fire last week during a public hearing to renew the license and permits with complaints raised by residents and police. There have been 37 complaints in the past year, many within the past five weeks, according to police Lt. Thomas Gould. He told selectmen that the force does not have the manpower to handle all the bar-related calls.
One 22-year-old man who is believed to have been physically assaulted was found on the sidewalk in front of the town office unconscious and bleeding from the face after leaving the bar.
Selectmen took no action on the renewal April 4 and instead asked Bowen to work with police and Town Manager Martin Puckett to set up guidelines that the establishment would work under to protect the public before selectmen approved the license and permits.
The conditions could not be attached to the state-issued liquor license but are attached to the other permits and can be revoked if they are not followed. That would mean there would be no pool tables, jukebox, bands, and other amusements covered by the permits.
Town officials could also petition the state to revoke the liquor license if the conditions are not met, Selectman Russell Flagg said. Police plan to apply for surveillance camera grants to monitor activity downtown more closely and involve the establishment’s staff in liquor training.
Puckett told selectmen that state legislation will go into effect shortly that allows police to go into a bar or other establishment and issue a summons if there is a liquor violation.
Bowen had drawn up some conditions and already implemented many of them, he said Wednesday.
The conditions set forth by Bowen and approved by selectmen, not including the police condition are:
• Hire Allen Drake as a bouncer.
• Have all patrons order drinks at bar, shots done right at the bar, not table service, which allows the bartender to monitor consumption.
• Post “no loitering” sign in front of establishment and in municipal parking lot.
• Post signs inside the bar banning fighting with removal from bar as penalty.
• Ask visibly intoxicated individuals to leave premises. The bar offers transportation when available to patrons.
• Place a surveillance camera on the outside of the bar.
• Warn patrons engaging in a verbal altercation. If it continues, patrons would be asked to leave.
• Continue to enforce a list of individuals barred from the premises. If any patrons are involved in a fight, they would be barred for 90 days. For drug use, they will be barred indefinitely. Other offense involves bringing liquor onto the premise.
Flagg asked Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. if he agreed with the conditions.
If the bar instates these rules and follows them, Steward said, it should improve the situation.
Steward said that since April 4, Bowen called police to remove an intoxicated person who refused to leave the bar. After selectmen voted, Jacques said “You’re all set Wes, just work with Ernie.”