Archive for Wednesday, May 16, 2012

City Commission wants Taste Lounge’s liquor license revoked

Bar has been site of 3 recent shootings

May 16, 2012


A Lawrence bar that has been the site of three recent shootings will have its city drinking establishment license revoked, and city commissioners minced no words in ordering it done Tuesday night.

Commissioners unanimously directed staff members to revoke the license of Taste, 804 W. 24th St. Commissioners heard a presentation from the city attorney’s office that the night club had been the site of three shootings in the last six months.

Commissioners at their weekly meeting said they weren’t at all convinced the ownership of the club had taken the violence problems seriously enough.

“When the first shooting happens, that is a disaster. It can’t happen again,” City Commissioner Hugh Carter, who previously managed entertainment venues for national casino companies, told Lee Riley, the bar’s owner. “And you have had three of them. If you are not more freaked out about this than anyone else, you are not the one to be solving the problem.”

The future of Taste was uncertain Tuesday night. Legally, it can operate without the city’s drinking establishment license, although it could be charged with a misdemeanor city offense.

The city has no power to revoke the business’ state liquor license. But city commissioners directed staff members to file a formal request with the Alcohol Beverage Control division to revoke the bar’s liquor license. Assistant City Attorney Chad Sublet said that request will be filed within a matter of days, but he did not have an estimate on when the state agency may consider the revocation.

Riley declined to comment after Tuesday’s commission meeting. During the meeting, he said he was shaken by the shootings but said he thought some of the violence stemmed from promotion companies that were drawing a non-typical crowd to his establishment. He said he no longer is using those music promotion companies.

“The promoters threw profitable shows, but it brought in a different crowd,” Riley said. “We had to learn the hard way not to deal with every promoter.”


Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

The Oread has way more bars than other luxury hotels it seems.

The commission more or less indicated they would be involved in the other bars now that new information was forced down their throats. Is this lip service or fact?

Yet considering this information some movers and shakers still want more bars in Lawrence = more LPD officers = tax increase again by way of another expanded LPD budget.


nate cleveland 1 year, 11 months ago

It doesnt matter if any of these places have their licenses revoked. Another one will come along and the same thing will happen at those places as well. Nothing will ever change that. The LPD and the City of Lawrence should know this by now. All the same stuff happened at The Moon Bar, Flanigans, and Axis. These bars were not shut down that long ago, so its kind of like beating a dead horse with this fight.


jack_jayhawk 1 year, 11 months ago

This is sad to see! Something tells me that Lee Riley is a small fish in this big Lawrence lake. He needs to join the fraternal organization within the bar owners in the town so they can help him out! With the amount of violence at other bars; it is clear they all are in the same boat. However, I think it all boils down to who pays the most Taxes! I'm sure the Oread / Cave beats out every business and night club in town paying City Taxes, and with, JD's ownership of The Ranch, Hawk and Tonic, he's probably second in line. Now, I'm not sure how much City Tax Taste can generate with a cover charge and selling chicken wings; but I'm sure on a slow night at any of those places mentioned they are making enough to keep Lawrence's mouth shut! Next up, Liquor Taxes, I'm sure between The Oread & JD's night clubs they are generating $20,000 Plus in Liquor taxes. If Taste is getting caught serving liquor after 2 am, somewhere between opening and closing Taste did not generate much money. Which makes me believe they must not be serving a lot of liquor, AND also means they can't be generating enough Liquor Tax. The decision of the ABC will most likely be suspension then revoking the license because they are clearly not generating enough Tax dollars for the risk its creating in Lawrence.


ratfamily 1 year, 11 months ago

The dump I just took after reading all of these comments.....huge.


consumer1 1 year, 11 months ago

I was wondering where this place was located. I saw the address, and it reminded me of the besmirching, misguieded story the LJW printed about one of the shooting. They claimed the Shooting happened in a parking lot behind the McDonalds on 23d street. I wondered why they didn't just say the name of the thug bar they were reporting on. Instead they tried to paint a picture of McDonalds being the focal point of the incedent.


JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

If I own Taste I'm on the phone with my Lawyer right now. The Cave and The Ranch should absolutely receive the exact same scrutiny.


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 11 months ago

The Oread will get its just reward when a patron of the Cave gets run over on Indiana St. Sitting on curbing with legs outstretched into a dark street and/or walking in the street after drinking is a sure way to die.

A multi million dollar hotel with poor lighting.


flyin_squirrel 1 year, 11 months ago

Just another example of government getting to much power. In the last week: - Student suspended from school for shaving his brothers head in his own home with the parents permission. - City takes a businesses license because they cater to minorities, yet have less police calls than the Oread, Abe n Jakes, Hawk, Ranch and Tonic. - City shuts down chick sales because the chicks have to share a cage - City makes deals behind private doors to open a req center - City working with KU to control what students do on their free time, and when off campus - City creates new Economic Development group, to help speed up the incentive process - City installing more traffic cameras to supposedly "Help with traffic flow". (how much you want to bet you will soon be getting tickets in the mail from these cameras...)


bigtoe 1 year, 11 months ago

" honestly and ethically with the topic of the story." " adult with a sense of civic responsibility for your comments."

These are words and concepts that are never ever ever used by Scott Rothschild and "Scottie's Army" - the wacko, loony, liberal echo chamber which makes up 85% of posters on this board.


jehovah_bob 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm telling you, you never saw these problems when it was Night Owls.


FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 11 months ago

"Taste and Oread" are perfect for Larryville. Larryville is a complex diverse village that has "social justice" consensus oozing from its "multicultural" taverns.

Larryville needs to remain the "pillar" of complex Liberal sanity.

Fights and gun play are a part of the deep seated intellectual Liberal "psyche" that can not be eradicated by removing taverns.


CLARKKENT 1 year, 11 months ago



Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 11 months ago

but said he thought some of the violence stemmed from promotion companies that were drawing a non-typical crowd to his establishment. +++++++++++++++++++++++ ?


autie 1 year, 11 months ago

non typical crowd? Gangsta wannabe thug punk asses from K.C. and Topeka maybe? Out looking for odd jobs probably.


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