Archive for Thursday, September 29, 2005

Citations put The Hawk in jeopardy

KU tradition could end if bar closes

September 29, 2005


One of Lawrence's biggest and busiest campus-area bars is at risk of losing its liquor license for serving alcohol to underage drinkers.

The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, has been cited at least 18 times in the past three years for serving minors, according to the state's Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. In a hearing Tuesday at the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St., the director of the ABC heard testimony from police and reviewed fake IDs seized from bar patrons.

The state dismissed seven of the alleged violations, but ABC director Tom Groneman will consider in coming weeks whether the bar is guilty of the remaining 11 and whether those cases are serious enough to cause the bar to lose its license.

Chi Omega sorority sisters from left, Sam Rasmussen, a Sioux Falls, S.D., senior, Lindsey Jones, a Prairie Village senior, Laura Wolowicz, a Frisco, Texas, senior, and Jacquelyn Roemeling, a Wichita senior, take shots at The Hawk on Wednesday after delivering invitations to an upcoming pirate-theme party. The Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control wants to revoke the bar's liquor license after citing the bar 18 times in the past three years for serving alcohol to minors.

Chi Omega sorority sisters from left, Sam Rasmussen, a Sioux Falls, S.D., senior, Lindsey Jones, a Prairie Village senior, Laura Wolowicz, a Frisco, Texas, senior, and Jacquelyn Roemeling, a Wichita senior, take shots at The Hawk on Wednesday after delivering invitations to an upcoming pirate-theme party. The Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control wants to revoke the bar's liquor license after citing the bar 18 times in the past three years for serving alcohol to minors.

Lawrence Police officer Larry Hamilton testified that when he wants to cite someone for underage drinking, he goes to The Hawk. Invariably, he said, he sees someone in the bar acting suspiciously - dropping a drink, sliding it across the table to a friend or running to the back of the room - when he arrives.

"It's what officers commonly refer to as an easy pick," Hamilton said. "It's easy to go into The Hawk and get a minor in possession."

But the bar's owners, Tom Devlin and John Heleniak, claimed they're being unfairly singled out by the state, in part because the bar is such a popular spot. Devlin said between 700 and 1,000 people pass through the bar each night.

Tom Devlin, co-owner of The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, shows Alcoholic Beverage Commission officials monitors used to oversee bar operations, located in an apartment at 1346 Ohio.

Tom Devlin, co-owner of The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, shows Alcoholic Beverage Commission officials monitors used to oversee bar operations, located in an apartment at 1346 Ohio.

Devlin said the bar has added surveillance cameras and other technology to document exactly who comes through the doors, but that fake IDs are getting more sophisticated and more difficult to catch.

At the owners' request, ABC director Groneman visited the bar after the hearing to inspect the security equipment.

"It is not humanly possible for anybody to run a tighter ship," said Dan Owen, an attorney representing The Hawk.

Brad Burke, assistant attorney general with Alcoholic Beverage Control, center, listens to Tom Devlin, right, co-owner of The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, as Burke, Tom Groneman, left, and Kay Ediger, also with ABC, make a walk-through inspection of the Lawrence bar Wednesday afternoon. The ABC is seeking to revoke the liquor license of The Hawk because of repeated underage-drinking citations.

Brad Burke, assistant attorney general with Alcoholic Beverage Control, center, listens to Tom Devlin, right, co-owner of The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, as Burke, Tom Groneman, left, and Kay Ediger, also with ABC, make a walk-through inspection of the Lawrence bar Wednesday afternoon. The ABC is seeking to revoke the liquor license of The Hawk because of repeated underage-drinking citations.

Devlin said underage drinkers are drawn to his bar because of its location near the university. If he could pick up his bar and move it he would, he said.

"I get policed more than anyone in town," he said.

One of the issues Groneman will consider is how closely the underage drinkers resembled the pictures on their fake IDs that were seized by police.

Two of the underage drinkers caught in the bar testified at Tuesday's hearing, including Kansas University student Matthew Lamantia, 19, who was caught drinking a Pacifico beer on June 25. He testified that he got the fake ID he used to get into the bar from someone who gave it to him while he was considering joining a fraternity.

The Hawk

1340 Ohio, Lawrence


"He basically said, 'As long as the guy's the same hair color as you and the same eyes and it's not expired, you should be fine'" to get into The Hawk, Lamantia said.

Both Lamantia and the police officer who cited him said they didn't think he looked like the person pictured on the ID.

Owen, the bar's attorney, said it's not in the bar owners' financial interests to serve underage drinkers.

Bar owners face a range of penalties up to revocation of their license each time an underage drinker is caught in the bar. The cases filed against the bar are separate from the criminal cases against the underage drinkers.

Before these cases, The Hawk's owners had been found guilty of eight violations for serving minors. Earlier this year, they reached a settlement with the state, paying $10,000 to settle with ABC for some of those earlier violations.

Groneman's decision won't be made for at least two months.


spikey_mcmarbles 12 years, 8 months ago

What about raising the age to get a drivers license to 21, and lowering the drinking age to 18? That would give kids a chance to learn how to drink before they start learning how to drive. Myself, I was learning to drink about the same time I was learning to drive, and that was a bad combination.

cutny 12 years, 8 months ago

Nice to know that the LPD goes for the easy mark whenever it's an option. Gees a little initiative.

Tom Jones 12 years, 8 months ago

I would have to agree with the last posting. I am VERY surprized that they have only had 18 in 3 years. I do not think the ABC is in their enough if they only have issued 18 citations in 3 years. Look at the Sandbar....I do not know about anyone else, but when I was underage, I knew not to even try to go to The Sandbar. It had a reputation of being hard on ID's. I wounder how many violations they have had since being in business. I would guess it is less then The Hawk.

neopolss 12 years, 8 months ago

The police comment about an easy pick does indicate that the Hawk is a target. How about we simply lower the drinking age and the problem will be solved? Then we can get our tax paid officers out on the streets checking for vehicle break-ins instead. Are we supposed to be apalled by underage drinking occuring? I suppose, but I remain more apalled at the complete waste of time that this eats up in courts, manpower, and enforcement.

doc1 12 years, 8 months ago

I agree on lowering the Drinking age. If the government says your old enough to go and die in a war for your country, then you sure as heck should be able to have a beer.

Neopolss, This isn't a waste of time and manpower. Imagine a typical MIP fine is a couple hundred bucks. Now take that couple of hundred and multiply it by several MIP's given each night. Your city just made a ton of money. I dont agree with the law, but don't blame the police or administration. When you know laws are being broken you can't ignore it.

spikey_mcmarbles 12 years, 8 months ago

There's has to be selective enforcement of the laws, as there aren't enough cops to give tickets to everyone in Lawrence who doesn't come to complete stop at a stop sign, people who don't signal a lane change, people who jaywalk, litterbugs, etc.

What is the goal of targeting underage drinkers? Is it keeping impaired drivers off the streets, or are they sending a message to our youth that drinking is bad and against the law for them, or is it something else, like targeting a popular drinking establishment who's owners have somehow managed to anger the city fathers? I've lived here for over 40 years, and I seem to recall that the owners of the Hawk have been engaged in somesort of a running battle with the city regarding underage drinking for many many years.

Lowell Holmes 12 years, 8 months ago

It shouldnt come as a surprise that the Hawk is a target. It sits in the middle of an area where hundreds of students live. The ABC should take that into consideration because I think the Hawk is doing as good as can be expected under the circumstances. As for the pictures on the drivers licences, heck I dont even look like myself on my own license.

angelsunwall 12 years, 8 months ago

I believe that the Hawk is somewhat of a historical landmark to campus life, but no one can fool themselves about the Hawk either. With today's technology it may be a little bit more difficult to get through the door.......10 years ago when I was at KU it was understood that the Hawk was the place to go when you wanted to drink underage. The door guys never cared, especially if you were in a sorority. I don't agree with underage drinking now that I'm older, but I did it and the Hawk was just one of the places in town you could get away with it. Times have changed in all aspects of life for 18-21 year olds then things were 10 years ago. People are cracking down more on everything and things that you could get away with before now it's not as easy.

Todd 12 years, 8 months ago

Old enough to die for your country logic>

Please, this logic sucks. If you are in the service you can drink on post/base. So if you actually set about dying for your country you get access to alcohol.

dream 12 years, 8 months ago

The Hawk has been known as the underage hangout for a long time. On any given night a majority of people in the Hawk are underage. 700-1000 people a night? NO WAY, they are not that busy every night. Photographing ids as they come through is just a way to defend themselves from prosecution. They now they are breaking the law and they allow it. It is no secret among the college students where to go to get in underage. The Hawk also employs underage bartenders as well. If they are closed, they have brought it on themselves. There are other bars that have had a tremendously better record without all the security that the Hawk employs.

CanadianPassport 12 years, 8 months ago

Are the girls in that photo members of the Bloods? Man, the gangs in the Midwest must be really struggling.

Angel Gillaspie 12 years, 8 months ago

You can obtain a license to sell liquor when you are 18. Does that mean the Hawk hires 16 and 17 year olds as bartenders? Should you be able to sell liquor if you can't legally drink it? They should lower the drinking age to 18 - or at least for 3.2 beer, like it was when I was that age. It's just like prohibition, if you tell them they can't, they'll want to do it that much more. I believe the driving age should be raised to 18 as well. Many 15, 16, and 17 year olds are mature enough to handle driving, but many are not. We should just use 18 for everything, it just seems right.

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

Oh no! The Hawk might be shut down? How sad that a crappy little bar smelling of piss and vomit that attracts the Frat/Sorority crowd might go away!!! Really I'm totally the thought of those jerks coming to my favorite bars downtown if their's get shut down. Let them keep that cesspool of a bar.....They deserve it! It truly is one of the grossest places I've ever seen. I'm with you TOB. That place has ALWAYS been a dump.

bigcat 12 years, 8 months ago

The Hawk, which used to be O'Street, is widely known as an underage drinking spot. When I went their 10-12 years ago they used to flash on a light when the ABC's were coming and if you were underage you would throw away or hand your beer to a 21 year old. They had no problem serving anyone. It's not tough when you have a black X on a hand and then just go up to the bar and order. I'm just surprised it took this long..

daddax98 12 years, 8 months ago

carmenilla and TOB when is the last time either of you have been to the Hawk? From your comments I suspect it has been a loooooong time because, regardless of it's many other problems, the Hawk is anything but a dump now

Todd how about this logic... at 18 you are old enough to be legally considered an adult in EVERY situation EXCEPT for drinking

bangaranggerg 12 years, 8 months ago

I think the main problem with shutting down the Hawk is that then all d bags that frequent the place would be set free into the city to ruin the bars I actually like. The issue isn't that the drinking age needs to be lowered, just ask any of the 18 year old girls who get too drunk at the Hawk and have some fratastic force themselves upon them if they would have liked to have the opportunity to be taken advantage of sooner.

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

It has been a couple years or more since I went there (let me clarify that I was driving for Safe Ride at the time).....I know that they put that deck on the side of it so that drunken Frat boys can verbally harrass you in your car. I appreciate that soooo much. Let them have the place please! Beside if you can't get naive underage girls drunk than how is any self-respecting Frat boy going to get laid?

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

Bangarangerg, we are sooo on the same page. Did you see my post at 10:20? I don't want those peeps coming to my favorite bars wither. And than we both posted about underage girls being easy fodder for Fratastics (as you call them). Strikingly similar, no?

Is your screenname a reference to "Hook"?

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

TOB, you can polish a turd and the Fratties will still go, as long as the Budweiser is warm and flowing. Amazing what overpriviliged Yuppie offspring will overlook in their quest for a good time. Of course, they would probably step into the Replay and declare it a dump. God, I love irony!

bangaranggerg 12 years, 8 months ago

Totally, I'm with you. Hate that bar and the riff raff going in there. My inner frat lost boy has one thing to say- "Bangarang"!

juan 12 years, 8 months ago

Todd, your logic sucks, or at least your ability to think critically does. The 'old enough to die' argument means that if one is old enough in the eyes of the law to CHOOSE to serve one's country and sign's one life over to uncle sam, then that person should also be considered competent to purchase a beer legally.

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

"Sisters of the North Face" HA! That one made me LOL!

Yah, Bud at any temperature makes me queasy but I'm not one for yellow piss beer. I prefer wine or a nice aperitif.

And the Replay may not be grand or even that clean but I will take the freakers over the f*ckers anyday.

Todd 12 years, 8 months ago

18 and life to go logic.

You shouldn't get to drink just because you old enough to fight in the Army. Once in the service you are allowed to drink. My "logic" is that "being old enough to die for you country" doesn't get you permission to drink but actually signing up does.

Also, you have to be 21 years old to purchase handguns in many states. So no, everything else isn't open to you at 18 years old.

So is an 18 year old an adult or not? If they are then all the age restrictions should be 18 years old max. That's my opinion. The way things are going these days I wouldn't be surprised if the legal age of adulthood got moved to 21 or 25 years old.

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

Oh sorry OTTR, we didn't realize we were offending your delicate sensibilities.

shortstack 12 years, 8 months ago

are there any good bars in lawrence? i mean that haven't been run over by the overly pretentious, territorial, looking at you like you have lobsters crawling out of your ears for coming into THEIR bar people?

dream 12 years, 8 months ago


Several friends of mine that are under age know and are friends with the people that are underage bartenders. The Hawk works a lot of the staff one night a week. Makes it difficult for them to be caught. It is a well known fact.

calijayhawk 12 years, 8 months ago

I think it's interesting that the hawk was completely remodeled over a year ago and four new rooms/bars were added without any building permits.

Overheard the owner laughing one night about it saying "if the city asks, those bars were always there."

bigcat 12 years, 8 months ago

I had to move out of Lawrence for job reasons, but the one thing I miss is that Lawrence seems to have a bar for everyone. Just walking down Mass you will find plenty of different bars. Some people hate the replay or red lion, or louises, but usually there is one bar that fits a persons personality. That is a great attribute to Lawrence. The one thing about the hawk is that it is widely known for underage drinking and I know that the owners should think they are lucky as hell that it is that few of violations. Other then being able to drink underage there really isn't much appeal to the bar. It is really dirty, smelly, and there are some very interesting clientelle. I remember my sister in law used to frequent when she was underage and siad it was awesome, but she also said that Natural Light was the best beer ever. That is their crowd and they gamble every night they do it. But I garauntee you these little fines are not even close to the 100's of 1000's of dollars they make off the 18 year olds every year.

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

This article isn't even about politics but Arminius STILL has to throw in a reference to Clinton. Amazing! He is really obsessed....

trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 8 months ago

does any one remember the play house???? that was a fun bar

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

It was just so YOU, Kevin, to put that Clinton quote in, is all.

I can actually think of dozens of other "dubious" quotes. But for one obsessed with Big Willie and his little Willie (as you are), I'm not surprised.

CrzyJhawk 12 years, 8 months ago

Todd I don't know where you get your information but the only time a service member is allowed to drink under 21 is when they are stationed on foreign soil where the drinking age is less than 21. Even then when they are on base it is 21 unless the commander of that base chooses to change the drinking age to the age of the country the base is in. If you don't believe me here is the law passed by Congress, USC 10, Section 2683, that says military bases must adopt the same drinking age as the state it is in.

CanadianPassport 12 years, 8 months ago

Well, if that's the blood hangout, I'll be the Crips have their own bar somewhere else near campus. Has anybody checked the Crossing for grafiti "tagging"?

trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 8 months ago

yes , i will hit 38 oct.13 .still very young

Carmenilla 12 years, 8 months ago

No Kevin YOU are in a class all by yourself....You are truly special.


Harry_Manback 12 years, 8 months ago

I was at the Hawk last Saturday, and a police officer approached me and asked for my ID. I really am 21, so this was not a problem for me. He scrutinized it for about 5 minutes, then asked me for my driver's license number. Who knows that? Then he made me produce another form of ID (an expired ID), and said, "you look too young to be in a bar." This took a long time, and it made me wonder what would have happened had I not had another ID on me. I thought this was harassment, and I considered filing a complaint, but who would really listen to me? Well, with that said I won't be coming back to The Hawk any time soon.

Harry_Manback 12 years, 8 months ago

I went to THe Hawk on my 21st birthday. I turned 21 while waiting in line, so my boyfriend started to sing "Happy Birthday." All these people around me congratulated me, and then I found out that NO ONE else but me in that line to get in (about 10 people) was 21!

dream 12 years, 8 months ago

One of the on premise liqour people told me of a pomo where they had to check to make sure people were over 21. Almost always the response was "I'm not, but don't tell anybody" Yep, The Hawk sure abides by the law...NOT

They are not being singled out as I've seen ABC and police at other bars over the last few weeks checking IDs.

wonderhorse 12 years, 8 months ago

actually, i not only remember the playhouse, but remember it when it was the billy spears country playhouse, and, before that, bullwinkles--named after the moosehead that hung over the fireplace.

kansasfire911 12 years, 8 months ago

Did the cops investigate the frat brats that are handing out fake ID's to their rushs'?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 8 months ago

Why is the Hawk whining? This is what they asked for. There is one reason to own a bar a block away from a campus like ours: college students. But wait... how old IS the typical college student? Under 21 if you are talking "traditional" students. Their target market is under 21 (doh!).

That's like building a house next door to a pig farm and saying "we are trying our best to keep the stink out of our living room, it's not our fault".

I'll tell you what I think is probably happening. I think the Hawk is a poorly run business (people talk as if it is quite 'neglected'), and like all poorly run businesses, they are inconsistent in their approach. On Tuesday, "Bob" is checking I.D.s and does a good job; on Thursday, "Dan" is checking I.D.s and lets in any girl who will flirt with him. They can have all the video surveillance and written policies they want, but if they don't have responsible people minding the shop when the boss is away, they will continue to have violations.

Me? If I owned it, I'd sell it to some former frat boy who's daddy has deep pockets and give up.

Owning a bar is stupid, anyway. As soon as your bar becomes popular enough to generate enough traffic to make real money, people start getting stabbed and shot in your parking lot. Success always leads to "success-related" problems. I think the average guy who wants to own a bar is just an idiot. I know that's harsh, but owning a bar in real life is not like it is on TV. Who do they think they are going to be? Huggy Bear? Sam Malone from Cheers? Grow up. Have you noticed how many retail operations and food operations become chains and franchises? But how many BARS have 1,000 locations worldwide? The few examples (Hooters) are really serving food more than booze. As a business model, it's a failure. Men who are still boys want to own bars.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 8 months ago

I bartended at the hawk in college. fun.

anyone been in a college town that doesn't have underage drinking "issues?"


captain_poindexter 12 years, 8 months ago

and am a "former frat boy"

haha, goooooood times.

BSC1983 12 years, 8 months ago

I too am a former fraternity man...besides the point. Who can honestly say they never drank alcohol before they were 21? If the Greek students and other "undesirable" students want to go to that bar, let them go there and don't make derrogatory remarks. They don't make fun of you. You are horrible Lawrencians...I've lived in Lawrence for the better part of the decade and I am sick of the slanderish banter between Greek and non-Greek students. State your opinion but don't use the nice LJ World message board site to make a fool out of yourself.

doubled96 12 years, 8 months ago

Ok people, reality check time. First off, if anyone thinks the Hawk is the only bar "allowing" underage drinking in Lawrence, I have some ocean front land to sell you in Nevada. When I went to KU in the early 90's, I did drink in the Hawk as a minor. I also drank in EVERY OTHER BAR I went to as a minor. I had a fake ID and only got turned down ONCE, and that was because the bartender knew the person who's ID I had. Besides that time, I was never turned down, even at all the Mass St bars. If you think this is only a Hawk issue, you are sorely mistaken. If a cop went into any bar in Lawrence and carded every single person, they would find an underage drinker 99% of the time, even at many of the "townie" bars. Seven years ago, I had a high school employee that I managed in KC, and he showed me his fake ID which was just his real ID scanned with an altered date. I had worked in a bar, and other than him looking young, I would have let him in with that ID no problem. The ID was a bit fuzzy, but you could only tell if you held it next to a real ID. FYI to all you Mass snobs, unless times have drastically changed, I knew of many bars down there that turned their cheek to minors drinking, greek or otherwise. Find me a bar that a Lawrence High student hasn't drank at while in HIGH SCHOOL. Can't be done. I had a roommate after college that went to Lawrence High and had no Greek affiliation while at KU. He drank at every bar underage, sometimes even while in high school. Closing one bar is not the solution. Neither is changing the drinking age, which is an idea I agree with at times. Do some research on the ramifications of that and you may change your opinion. In my opinion, the biggest deterant to underage drinking is increasing the penalty for the minor. How many people did you know in college that had a MIP? It seemed like I knew more that had them than not. You want to prevent a kid from drinking underage, make a MIP or carrying false identification a stiffer penalty. They are WILLFULLY breaking the law. First go after the guy that pulled the trigger, then go after the guy that sold him the gun. If they want to roll the dice, let them know there will be serious consequences. I was willing to take the chance when I was in school because the consequences were a joke. I get the impression many people are using this as a chance to bash the Hawk. If you don't like the bar, that is your right, but don't believe for a minute that this is only happening at the Hawk.

millsatk 12 years, 8 months ago

Ahh yes.... The Squak... Hawk. I remember when I was just a pup. You showed the door "Frat Dude" any kind of ID and you got in. And that's since I was 17... wow. I know of guys who have used IDs of people of different ethnicity and gotten served on that! Hah! It is kind of a dark day for every freshman/ sophomore Frat Dude in KU. Now, they're have to DRIVE somewhere to get their 3.2 beer. I say, fine the owner (lots of $$$) and let the games continue. If not the Hawk, then the: Wheel, Crossing, Yacht Club, Fatso's, Brother's, or Quintons.

doubled96 12 years, 8 months ago

I drank in the Sandbar underage on numerous occasions. Actually, I don't think I ever went there when I was over 21.

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