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Archive for Thursday, December 26, 2013

Police ramp up presence near Oread Hotel after spike in alcohol-related offenses

December 26, 2013

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An increased police presence appears to have tamped down on alcohol-related problems earlier this month in the 1200 block of Oread Avenue, site of The Oread Hotel and the bars and nightclubs it houses.

From Dec. 5 through Dec. 8, police arrested five men between 18 and 24 years old during a particularly active weekend during which Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, recalled a significant number of alcohol-related problems being reported by area residents and officers on patrol.

The activity drew the ire of neighbors, including the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority at 1100 Indiana St. Jill Harter, a national Alpha Gamma Delta spokeswoman, confirmed that the sorority’s Lawrence chapter had contacted police but said the sorority preferred not to comment.

But the sorority was not the only complaining neighbor, and the calls to police did not go unnoticed.

“Any time we see a significant increase in activity we put our resources in that area,” McKinley said. “Sometimes the presence of officers deters criminal activity. You see a patrol car and you decide not to punch each other in the nose. Other times, not so much.”

The spate of offenses earlier this month included unlawful use of a driver’s license, public alcohol consumption, consumption by a minor and criminal trespassing.

In addition to an increased police presence Thursdays through Saturdays, McKinley said police have also encouraged a dialogue between the sorority — and any other concerned neighbors — and the Oread hotel, which houses establishments including The Cave nightclub and a bar and restaurant called the Bird Dog Bar.

Nancy Longhurst is the general manager of The Oread Hotel, which has been open since 2010. In a recent interview, she said that she has not heard directly from nearby concerned residents.

“But I’d be more than happy to talk to anybody at anytime,” Longhurst said.

Cave manager Phil Ozorkiewicz, meanwhile, could not be reached for comment.

Khatib said the proximity of The Oread’s bars to residences could also be cause for more police calls versus a bar located next to another bar downtown.

"The simple answer is yeah, we are spending a lot more time there," Khatib said. "The residents have called us and let us know they're not satisfied."

In response, and in addition to increased patrols, Khatib said he has met with Oread leadership to discuss concerns about bar activity in the area of their businesses. "They've been very cooperative and understanding of what we're doing and why we're there," he said.

Comments

Beer Guy 3 months, 4 weeks ago

I drive a party bus that use to pick up there. The people are so stupid drunk that they mistake a 40ft private bus for a KU safe ride Prius. Hence I don't bother stopping anymore unless they lie down drunk in the middle of the street. This place and 14th and Ohio are the worst over consumption and underage places in Lawrence.

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Joshua Montgomery 3 months, 4 weeks ago

I was working at one of our sorority sites and overheard one of the girls say "I don't got to The Cave anymore, I feel like I am robbing the cradle"

She was maybe 6 months past her 21st B-Day.

The Oread is serving under age clients and is not cutting off patrons who get well past their limit. It is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Since a huge portion of that project was paid for by the taxpayers, our community has a right to demand that they run the business responsibly. They need to move the entry age to 21 and develop a policy to prevent over consumption.

Enough is enough. Does someone have to die in a preventable DUI before our community takes action?

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Joshua Montgomery 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Glad we, the taxpayers, spent $11 Million dollars subsidizing this business.

They are clearly great corporate citizens, dedicated to making the neighborhood a better place.

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Terry Lee 3 months, 4 weeks ago

This happens outside of every bar in town. Thank the stars you don't live by Brothers....

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Keith Richards 3 months, 4 weeks ago

I recall the city involving the Kansas A.B.C. with similar issues at Abe & Jake's a few years ago. Abe & Jake's let 18 year olds in just like the Cave. The A.B.C. told Abe & Jake's to raise the age to 21 only or they would revoke their license. I was told this by the owner himself and know it to be true. Why would the city (or state) allow an identical business to operate letting minors into one nightclub and not another? It seems as though the state, acting on behalf of the city, is violating fair business practice laws. In my opinion, if there is no food and only alcohol being served at a business, there should be a law that only 21 year olds can enter the establishment similar to liquor store laws.

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