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Archive for Wednesday, September 5, 2007

City Hall moves to revoke Last Call license

September 5, 2007

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Lawrence city leaders today took the first steps to have the license of the controversial downtown nightclub Last Call revoked by state regulators.

Mayor Sue Hack sent a letter today to the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control unit requesting a hearing be held to determine whether the license of Last Call, 729 N.H., should be renewed in November.

The requests comes one day after City Manager David Corliss and Hack met with Thomas Groneman, director of the ABC.

"Our communications with the department indicated to us that this would be helpful," Corliss said. "We're hopeful that it will be."

Corliss said the city would object to the renewal of the club's state liquor license on the grounds that the establishment was creating serious safety concerns. In May 2006, seven shots were fired inside the downtown club, sending hundreds fleeing into the street. Police leaders also have reported 21 weapons violations in downtown from June 2005 to June 2007. Many of those violations have occurred in parking lots near Last Call.

An attempt to reach Dennis Steffes, owner of the club, was not immediately successful this afternoon. Attempts to reach Mayor Sue Hack, also were unsuccessful.

Comments

ksdivakat 7 years, 3 months ago

Shut it down!! enough is enough!!! And its only getting worse!!!

livingkate 7 years, 3 months ago

They will all just go to Abe and Jakes now.

ontheotherhand 7 years, 3 months ago

When the problems continue (weapons in the parking lots) in the same vicinity after Last Call is shut down, are they going to attempt to blame--and then shut down--the next bar, and the next, and the next . . . .

Horace 7 years, 3 months ago

I support revoking it 100%. You can't even go to Borders without feeling threatened.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm guessing that it's wishful thinking that this is going to solve much of anything... and it could somehow make things worse...

Steve Jacob 7 years, 3 months ago

Getting rid of the "bad" places by the nice Lofts. The Bottleneck is next. Or maybe the Granada. At least no ones been killed near Last Call.

jennifermarti 7 years, 3 months ago

I know it is bad around that bar, but does the city have the right to just go and take his license? Besides all the trash that hangs out at that bar (which comes from Topeka mainly) will just move to another one. They have already started migrating over to Axis on Iowa street. I give it a couple weeks before there is some issue with a gun up there. It's crawling with monors drinking already.

lunacydetector 7 years, 3 months ago

i would hope the city sends topeka an apology letter, but isn't this really about mr. steffes' lawsuit against the city regarding the smoking ban? a 'we don't get mad, we get even' type of policy unless you have millions to fight us?

jennifermarti 7 years, 3 months ago

True-but he has lots and lots of money and he will bring some kind of lawsuit just like with the smoking ban. So when he drags it out for as long as possible-who pays for that? Our tax money?

jennifermarti 7 years, 3 months ago

posessionannex- That's what I am a little concerned about. I agree that this place is a danger to the people of Lawrence and for sure the people that live in that area, but where does this end? Can the city just step in whenever they feel it and threaten someones business when they see fit.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 3 months ago

posessionannex I'm in agreement that this kind of action taken by a governmental entity has at least traditionally been considered "liberal"... but more and more I see self proclaimed "conservatives" coming down on the side of giving more and more power to the government to take a continually widening array of actions against citizens and their property... I see this particularly in cases where "conservatives" support such governmental actions when it benefits commercial and corporate interests: and in areas of so called "national security"...

ihatelv 7 years, 3 months ago

Yea, stuckinthemiddle... who needs national security???

Whatever............

Michael Capra 7 years, 3 months ago

it will take 5 years to close him down due to leagal battles

mick 7 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully "last call" for the Last Call.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

Who owns axis? A bar location with some violent history.

  • There are stipulations attached to a license at the time of application. Violation of stipulations constitutes revocation. I would speculate the city has a case. Too bad this action required so much citizen demand/pressure to make it happen. It is irresponsible for city lawmakers not to have proceeded with this action long ago....sometimes friendships need to be pushed aside.

  • How many tens of thousands of additional LPD & Sherriff tax dollars has this location cost the taxpayer?

*A bar and its' owner with consistent negative history such as this one deserves special attention. Don't want to wait until a bullet goes through the window at Hobbs-Taylor,Borders,Sandbar or at a home on Rhode Island.

  • There is a North Lawrence bar that has received many complaints from nearby neighbors over the years including gun activity that also should not be overlooked.

  • Should this practice apply to all bars/clubs with such history....absolutely.

  • Bar owners should be asked to call law enforcement to deal with very rowdy customers rather than just dumping them out onto the streets to create further havoc or maybe kill innocent bystanders.

  • It's time for Last Call to hit the road.

  • The Bottleneck and the Sandbar do not have this history as far as I know so no reason for them to go.

*A resident of Hobbs-Taylor once shared with me that her daughter frequents The Bottleneck so Mom and Dad are close by if that is where she needs to go. The residents did not speak of The Bottleneck as a problem.... the parents probably danced the night away a few times.

  • The Granada incidents and most importantly Last Call are creating problems for all bars which are not warranted. Seems to me there should be plenty of laws on the books to deal with problem night spots after 50 years or more. The city and the county should take a hard line on Last Call type activity. Other bars should not pay an additional price of more laws and special fees due to irresponsibility of city lawmakers.

Lil_Bear 7 years, 3 months ago

Hey Cheeseburger Eddie and Jennifermarti I see you two are real fast at putting the blame on other towns but have no problem letting everyone in Lawrence work in Topeka and KC. I think if the bar is really that bad then shut it down don't blame everyone eles for your problem in not letting guns into the club maybe they should do a better job keeping the wepons out. Besides Cheeseburger Eddie and Jennifermarti you make it sound like it's only the Topeka and KC clientele and if thats the case whats the problem only the Topeka and KC clientele are getting shot and Lawrence is getting free money from them....right???

kneejerkreaction 7 years, 3 months ago

jennifermarti (Anonymous) says: "It's crawling with monors drinking already."


And there we have it. Monors drinking illegally. Get rid of the monors, I say. (sorry, Jennifer, I couldn't resist, no offense intended)

Not a fan of the trash that Steffes caters to, but also not a fan of the city deciding a business' fate. Maybe if Borders stayed open late and organized his patrons into reading clubs?

hk45 7 years, 3 months ago

If they shut the club down, I'm sure Steffes will just open it under a different name in a couple of months and the violence will start over.

oldgoof 7 years, 3 months ago

Nuisance laws worked at 9th and Mississippi.

Mkh 7 years, 3 months ago

A rare great decision by the City Commission.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

"Mr_Ramirez (Anonymous) says: Such a shame:::::.go ahead and burn it down while youre at it"

Instead restore the building with a beer serving art gallery or a beer serving antique store or a beer serving fine furniture store.

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

Thank every God and Goddess in the Universe!!!!! It is possibly going to happen! As an immediate neighbor (no I don't live in the lofts) I can't tell you how thrilled I am. Even when it was Tremors it was a nuisance but just got worse when it was Last Call.

Woo Hooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

Jennifermarti - Are you kidding me? You say, " I agree that this place is a danger to the people of Lawrence and for sure the people that live in that area, but where does this end?"

It ends here. The fact that "this place is a danger to the people of Lawrence . . ." isn't enough???

George

jennifermarti (Anonymous) says:

posessionannex- That's what I am a little concerned about. I agree that this place is a danger to the people of Lawrence and for sure the people that live in that area, but where does this end? Can the city just step in whenever they feel it and threaten someones business when they see fit.

esl03 7 years, 3 months ago

I heard there is more than just drinking being done in that bar. Behind close doors there is other action besides the talk of Alcohol...

Crossfire 7 years, 3 months ago

Coming to 6th & Wak The New Last Cal~Mart. Maybe Dennis Steffes and partner up with Mike Vick and open up a dog fighting bar. As long as you have the money for the zoning anything goes out west.

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

"hk45 - If they shut the club down, I'm sure Steffes will just open it under a different name in a couple of months and the violence will start over."

He is toast at the current address. Steffes doesn't own the building. The owner(s) are Park Hetzell III Trustees.

another_concerned_parent 7 years, 3 months ago

I believe the Dennis Steffes also owns the Coyote bar or whatever that bar at 23rd & Haskell goes by now. So maybe they will stay on the southeast side of town.

jennifermarti 7 years, 3 months ago

George I don't disagree that the place should be shut down all I am saying is there are a lot of dangerous things in this world and does the city government step in and put a stop to all this other stuff? Dennis will just put the liquor license in someone elses name and carry on anyway; this seems like one big waste of time really. And anyone that knows anything about the ABC knows he can just put it in a family members name (as long as they have a clean record) and still manage the place.
Lil bear YEs the bar is crawling with Topeka and KC trash whether you like it or not that's just the facts. And free money for Lawrence at the expense of these jail bound thugs being in our community NO THANKS! Haven't you read any of the reports about the arrests made at LAst Call? Last time I check they were people from either Topeka or KC.

waydownsouth 7 years, 3 months ago

All people start a business to make money. He found something that would do just that. So now He gets shut down (maybe) and then they find another place to go. So is shutting down Last Call going to solve the problem? I doubt it. But i love how people like to point fingers. I guess someone has to shoulder the blame.

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

jennifermarti - Last Call/Tremors has been a problem for years. The neighbors have been complaining, we have called the police, we have lost MANY a night's sleep when the bar closes. Traffic, screaming, booming stereos, (or finding a handgun on your front porch.) I have had patrons urinate in my yard and have had to pick up bags of trash left on the front lawn. The "lofts" weren't always there. I've seen things going on at 3:00 in the morning that would curl your toenails. I don't care where the patrons come from and I don't wish this on anyone else, I'm just glad that it is potentially out of my neighborhood. Do you want it in yours? Walk for years in my footsteps and you would definitely have a different opionion.

"I don't disagree that the place should be shut down all I am saying is there are a lot of dangerous things in this world and does the city government step in and put a stop to all this other stuff?"

The answer is YES!!!!!!!!!

George

Chris Bohling 7 years, 3 months ago

If Steffes were just an innocent bar owner who happened to have bad things happen at his bar, then I would agree with those who are defending his right to run the place. However, if you honestly believe that he isn't intentionally promoting crime (or at least turning a big blind eye to it) then, well, where have you been?

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