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.”


autie 6 years, 1 month ago

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

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm curious to know, does Lawrence Kansas not have any gangsta wannabes? What is it about Lawrence that attracts gangsta wannabes from nearby cities? Let's admit it already, Larryville has its fair share of trouble making fools.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Both Topeka and Kansas City have universities.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh yeah! Lawrence = Loose Women! Who'd a thunk it?

booyalab 6 years, 1 month ago

"What is it about Lawrence that attracts gangsta wannabes from nearby cities?"

Gee willikers, could it be this marihuana that I keep hearing about from the greasers at the soda shop?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 1 month ago

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

CLARKKENT 6 years, 1 month ago


Maddy Griffin 6 years, 1 month ago

And the fights there only involve KU athletes.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 1 month ago

Yep, Lawrence is squeaky clean. No thugaboo gangsta wannabes have been born and reared here.

Alyosha 6 years, 1 month ago

The above is an inane and juvenile comment attempting to score cheap political points, not to deal honestly and ethically with the topic of the story. Falsehope, why don't you look in the mirror for a second and actually consider whether you want simply to be a silly and juvenile commenter or an adult with a sense of civic responsibility for your comments?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

Hey, don't pick on FHNC/Billy Flay: He has a role to play and he plays it well. Just because he doesn't make much sense is not grounds for criticism on this award-winning blog.

somedude20 6 years, 1 month ago

Good god sir, you write like a person with very "special needs" or that J-O Berry Penders "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son"

jehovah_bob 6 years, 1 month ago

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

MarcoPogo 6 years, 1 month ago

True, you had to see some of the other problems that people had.

GUMnNUTS 6 years, 1 month ago

Was night owls the clothing optional bar?

flyin_squirrel 6 years, 1 month 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...)

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

The Tower of Terror was cursed from the day the hotel was proposed.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month 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.

JackMcKee 6 years, 1 month ago

I only know about the numerous batteries and police calls to both, but I certainly wouldn't put anything past those places.

jack_jayhawk 6 years, 1 month 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.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 1 month 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.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 1 month ago

And, they/we are all addicted to the taxes they collect on booze.

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