Archive for Tuesday, May 21, 2013

City commissioner wants state to revoke nightclub’s liquor license

May 21, 2013


At least one Lawrence city commissioner is calling on the city to look at ways of revoking the license of a nightclub that might have played a role in a Sunday morning shooting that left two men in critical condition.

City Commissioner Bob Schumm said he wanted the city to begin discussions with the state’s liquor regulators to revoke the license of Club Magic, at 804 W. 24th St.

Schumm — who is a downtown bar and restaurant owner — also said he thought the city should take additional steps to prevent the building from being used as a nightclub by other operators in the immediate future. The building was the site of a shooting in March 2012 when it was under different ownership and was operating as Taste Lounge, Bar and Grill.

“We have to do something better,” Schumm said. “That was pretty vicious what happened over the weekend.”

Police officers on Sunday morning came into contact with one shooting victim near Club Magic, after responding to reports of a person brandishing a gun inside the bar. As officers arrived at the club, they heard multiple gunshots going off a few blocks to the north and ultimately found a shooting victim in the 800 block of Greever Terrace.

Sean Hall, general manager of Club Magic, recently told the Journal-World that it was not clear whether the shooting was connected to Club Magic. He said he was as alarmed as everyone else about the violence and is inviting the police and public to an open meeting at the club at 7 p.m. Friday.

After the March 2012 shooting incident at Taste Lounge, Bar and Grill, the owner of the club ultimately surrendered his liquor license to the state. But Schumm said it appeared to him that a new operator with much the same operational practices almost immediately took over the location.

Schumm said he wanted city staff to research whether a local ordinance could prohibit such problem bar locations from being re-opened immediately after an incident. Staff members said they would investigate the feasibility of the ordinance, but typically matters of liquor licenses are controlled by state regulators.


riverdrifter 4 years, 8 months ago

Gotta hand it to Bob on this one. Way to go. Close the damn dump and zone it out of existance.

George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

The city is moving fast on this one. It took years before "Last Call" was finally shut down despite almost nightly police intervention.

denali 4 years, 8 months ago

So this Club Magic is the old Jack Flannigans?

Terri Ferguson 4 years, 8 months ago

AND the old Playhouse before that. ..back in the 80's, that was the good old days.

Anthony Mall 4 years, 8 months ago

Hardly a fan of Lawrence politics but... BRAVO!!! These owners have known about MAJOR security issues for a long time and ignored them until two young men were shot... I know the intentions of the owners were good but they have failed to clean up the clientele! Hopefully something is done for the safety of the residents in that area. No one wants to see anyone killed.

workinghard 4 years, 8 months ago

The people that open these places know and depend on their customers coming from Topeka so why don't the open them in Topeka? Obviously Topeka is doing something that discourages them that we are not. Maybe they should require an ID (no matter what the age) that is scanned and kept in a data base. Knowing this might keep some less desirable people away and also help identify someone if there is trouble.

bad_dog 4 years, 8 months ago

I didn't realize Wahburn University was male students only.

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

Who holds the liquor license on this club?

geekin_topekan 4 years, 8 months ago

The swift and immediate revocation would seem the easiest route but it hardly addresses the issue. What is the issue? Gang bangers, gats, drugs, hos, reps, and all other imaginary traits that the other-than-functional hold dear to their hearts. Revoking the license, shutting their joint down, boarding up their clubhouse is only a quick and duty-free way to pretend that the problem belongs to someone else. Shutting the place down is only the first step toward alleviating the problem.

Whenever long-term nuisances are treated with short term measures, it creates a vacuum effect. The problem doesn't go away, free roaming elements will quickly find another location to fill a void, be it a public or private spot, but it will quickly re-form and all the short term fixes will be for not. For instance, how well did shutting Last Call work out?

What makes a grown man want to wear his jeans hanging just above the knees? What makes the young ladies want to dress with so little to reveal? Why do some people believe that respect starts from the outside of the self? What sets into their minds that respect for self and others can be imposed with a gun? These are the issues that must be addressed in order to make the problem go away. The true answer is not quick and easy, it will not go away with short sighted and duty-free measures like shutting down a business.

I agree, the club has become a nuisance and shutting it would be effortless and certainly make city leaders appear proactive, but it is not nearly enough if we want to eliminate the underlying problem. It will take much effort from, and love of, our community to make these problems go away. And yes, the gang bangers are a part of our community, they are not an "other" to be tossed out like trash. They are us. Let's find a real fix.

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

Last Call, Taste Lounge and Club Magic seem to be catering to out of town gang bangers. Not sure why we should consider them part of our community and our problem.

SDTPlant 4 years, 8 months ago

How about your "gang bangers" up on the hill?

Jay Lovett 4 years, 8 months ago

You really believe our community needs to accept gangs and gang bangers? You are an idiot.

geekin_topekan 4 years, 8 months ago

No, I believe that they are a real part of our community. Where do I say acceptance is the issue?

Deb Engstrom 4 years, 8 months ago

He's not saying that the community needs to accept tangs and bangers, he's saying that they are here, albeit mostly wannabes, and will find somewhere to go and meet their friends from Topeka and Kansas City. It's a much larger problem than a bar where one incident occurred.

Deb Engstrom 4 years, 8 months ago

"tangs" is a typo for "gangs".

Not sure I understand your questions, but I'm saying that Lawrence has had problems with gangs as long as I've lived here, at times more visible than others. Most of them are "wannabe's" but nevertheless a problem. Closing down one club will not get to the root of the problem.

kernal 4 years, 8 months ago

No, but without clubs that cater to gang bangers, Lawrence won't be as much of a draw to them.

Paul Wilson 4 years, 8 months ago

"Schumm — who is a downtown bar and restaurant owner — also said he thought the city should take additional steps to prevent the building from being used as a nightclub by other operators in the immediate future."

Ummm...can you say Conflict of Interests??? How do you say what the building can or can't be used for in the future? For those of you that use and abuse the word 'corruption'....this is what it looks like at its tadpole stage.

Thinking_Out_Loud 4 years, 8 months ago

No, I think it was pretty plain in and of itself.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Seems someone ended up in the hospital after an evening at Brothers....... which according to reports also attracts some rowdy individuals.

Serious injuries do not require guns.....

More drinking establishments downtown for what reason...... to further expand the police budget?

Not a good reason.

The larger the city becomes the more crimes grows...... Topeka and KCMO document such.

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 8 months ago

Has anyone considered strict border patrol as an option? I of course mean the Topeka/Lawrence border.

Pr0digy 4 years, 8 months ago

I was thinking topeka would be better off as something like off John Carpenters Excape From L.A.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 8 months ago

Just wondering ... If the city is going to use it's resources to try to shut this club down, getting lawyers involved, using city employees to advocate with the state and such, might it be more cost effective to just park a couple of police cruisers in their parking lot on several consecutive Friday and Saturday nights and then have six or eight officers wandering around the parking lot, inside the club, on the patio, just having a large police presence. A frequent and significant police presence will send the rats scurrying, effectively changing the clientele of the club. If we could then send the club owners the bill, all the better.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Keeping a close eye on the place is quite advisable, but what you propose is nothing more than pure police harassment.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago


If' it's being done to ensure safety of patrons and others, it's not harassment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, harassment, and it'd be tantamount to shutting them down, given that no one would want to patronize the place with what would amount to a police occupation.

If the goal is to shut them down, then be honest about it and go thru the proper process to do that.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Simply having police there isn't harassment.

I can't imagine why regular patrons who aren't breaking the law would object to police presence, in fact I think they'd feel safer there as a result of it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't think there is anything wrong with stepped up patrolling, but what jay described was a police occupation that would drive away any sort of clientele, law-abiding or otherwise. I've never been arrested for anything in my life, and I wouldn't want that sort of police presence in a place where I'm theoretically looking to relax and enjoy myself.

So I repeat, if the intent is to shut them down, then follow the process that's required to accomplish that rather than resorting to police-state tactics to force them out of business.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 4 years, 8 months ago

What legal means of "shutting them down" do you suggest?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

It would entail revoking their liquor license-- something that was done recently with another bar.

Hooligan_016 4 years, 8 months ago

Or the club could use their own money and hire security?

Hooligan_016 4 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the threat of having their liquor license revoked will encourage them to get their act together?

Matthew Herbert 4 years, 8 months ago

it DID work. A gun that WOULD have been used in the club was confiscated and to be clear, the shooting occurred elsewhere.

gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

If we spent more money on education, some of these problems would eventually fix themselves.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Note that gccs said "some" not "all".

gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

You have to start somewhere, and giving the kids a good education (and feeding the perennially hungry ones) pays dividends in greater economic opportunity and less dependence on state aid and incarceration later.

gccs14r 4 years, 8 months ago

We're not throwing "endless amounts" at education, we're actually reducing the amount we spend, and reducing it by a rather large amount.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Wow. It's pretty obvious.

gccs said we'd solve "some" of the problems with education, and you said in essence it wouldn't fix all of them, as if that was a rebuttal.

Clark Coan 4 years, 8 months ago

I support returning to a midnight closing hour for all bars and restaurants:

A bold and controversial law that shuts down bars and restaurants after 11 p.m. has turned Diadema, one of Brazil's most violent cities, into an urban model, officials say.

"Look at the city," Regina Miki, Diadema's secretary of social services, said as she surveyed the deserted streets through a car window. "It's quiet. This is just how I like it. ... And it's all because of this law."

The law has cut homicides by nearly half and has slashed other crimes by as much as 80 percent after forcing nearly all of the city's 4,800 bars and restaurants in 2002 to stop selling alcohol between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Since then, the homicide rate has dropped by 47 percent, traffic accidents by 30 percent, assaults against women by 55 percent, and alcohol-related hospital admissions by 80 percent, according to Miki.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

I suggested midnight closing hours years ago, and was roundly condemned by numerous posters.

Thanks for the clear evidence that it would be a very good idea.

jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

Cutting back a couple of hours a night wouldn't eliminate that job, it might mean folks worked a couple of hours less/day.

And, if it means reduced crime, it might be worth it, from where I sit.

Anthony Mall 4 years, 8 months ago

So you relating one if the most violent cities in the world to Lawrence where one bar has had two issues this year and no one killed? That's flying off the handle just a bit!

LWbored 4 years, 8 months ago

  1. Nothing good happens after midnight.
  2. Instead of packing the bars at 10:30, people will go earlier and it would be safer. Cheers

Clark Coan 4 years, 8 months ago

It all starts in childhood. That's why need to have parenting classes in high school and give an incentive to parents who who successfully complete parenting classes. Parents as Teachers can help as well. We also need to return the WRAP therapists to the grade schools so they can help disturbed students BEFORE they become a problem.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, but since the Laura Branigan song, "Self-Control" is really about abdicating control, I don't understand your comment. Please explain. Thank you.

patkindle 4 years, 8 months ago

this place has been a thug magnet for years if you are naïve enough or dumb enough to go in their per haps you should consider it the thinning of the herd some of you oldsters may remember when this was a clothing optional bring your own bottle place , woo woo it deserves what ever is dealt to it. and the owners just keep making money on rent with no remorse s

bad_dog 4 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps a return to "clothing optional" might be a good move?

Is that your rifle or your gun?

Shawty2003 4 years, 8 months ago

First off I keep seeing the gangster word being thrown around a lot. What makes these folks gangster; them being black and having guns on them, last I checked just about anybody can be carrying these days. Who are we to automatically assume these individuals are gangsters? They could be well dressed individuals with bad tempers. I am familiar with Club Magic, Taste and Axis and out of all three I have seen Club Magic put in the most efforts in trying to keep things safe as possible. From what I have learned they hire not only regular security, but also outside professional security as well. Now I know for sure that every person gets ID when they walk in to the club, I seen the short guy at the front door deny entry to folks whenever they did not have an ID and I been patted down by every time I have walked into the establishment. So to say they do not care and they let just about anybody in is not a fair statement. Now, can this place improve on something? Hell yes, but saying they are not trying is not fair to them. Most of the time the owner does not make much of a profit some night because they invest so much in to hiring their professional security and bouncers, one group inside and out. Ask yourself would the workers really allow certain people to be in the club if they knew for a fact they were going to cause trouble? How do you look at a person and place judgment without giving them a fair chance. I can understand where everyone is coming from, but I think it very important to try and consider both sides. I do not consider Magic to be a bad place, I believe it has great potential and if they can get things turned around it will be a fun place to go all the time. On a side note, I have been to Magic many other times for concerts and other events, and left without seeing any issues. I think a lot of it falls on the type of events they hold and the night in question they just happened to be holding a concert involving a local KC rapper who has recently just gotten signed to a record label. I hope the best for this place and my best advice would be 1) no more rap concerts with artists known to have the following of more of a rough crowd. 2)invest in some hand held metal detectors. 3) when closing time comes instead of playing good music start to play some country music. 4) if you never been to the club please to not make any statements, find out how they operate for yourself and you will see they do have a pretty good system setup and lastly 5) LPD should stop by from time to time and post up during closing time, just like they do at brothers.

patkindle 4 years, 8 months ago

if the folks cant make any money what possess them to rent the building please note the city does nothing to the owners of the building who for decades rented it to thugs who attract thugs, garbage is garbage

akt2 4 years, 8 months ago

Why not just grab them as soon as they enter the city limits? Some might call it profiling. They are probably guilty of something illegal before the shooting even starts. Warrants, illegal substances (use the K-9 units), guns, drinking and driving, illegal vehicle registration, no proof of insurance. The list goes on and on. Maybe coming to Lawrence to get arrested won't be worth it.

somebodynew 4 years, 8 months ago

shawty2008 - You make some very valid points and also some good suggestions. I do think that if I made the one suggestion I would have been crucified on here by now " 1) no more rap concerts with artists known to have the following of more of a rough crowd.".

Seems like every time something like that is posted the person is deemed just guilty of blaming music, or being racist. Hope you fare better, because that is a good idea. (Along with the others you state.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

"no more rap concerts with artists known to have the following of more of a rough crowd."

How do you define "rap?" How do you define "rough crowd?"

jhawkinsf 4 years, 8 months ago

I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it. (Justice Potter Stewart, paraphrase)

jhawkinsf 4 years, 8 months ago

You define "rap" and "rough crowd" using the same standard as your earlier suggestion that the police "keep an eye on" the place. Completely arbitrary, no. Using some common sense, yes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 8 months ago

There's a big difference between increasing the regular patrolling of an area around a bar and setting up a full-time police encampment, which is what you advocated for.

Confusing the two doesn't demonstrate anything like common sense.

jhawkinsf 4 years, 8 months ago

Why would you suggest increasing patrols in an area around the bar, however that's defined, when it's clear that the problems originate at the bar? Common sense dictates that we differentiate between where the problems begin and the area that just happen to be nearby. And respond accordingly.

57chevy 4 years, 8 months ago

Closing the competition is the only way Schumm can get anyone to eat his bar-B-que or set foot in the bar next door. This smacks of socialism! I'm pretty sure that if someone gets shot in front of Schumm's place he won't close it. We'll have to wait for the health department to do that. Maybe instead of closing all the businesses that are not downtown, we could try improving the downtown experince by closing Mass street to cars from 8th to 6t street and create a pedestrian area.

bad_dog 4 years, 8 months ago

Please provide an accurate definition of socialism and then describe how your statement above supports that definition.

juma 4 years, 8 months ago

An observation about the college kids waiting to go out until after 11pm. My experience is that they first drink in the safety of a house/apt because they are under the magic age of 21. If the drinking age was lowered to the logical 18 or 19 then they would go out earlier and then go home earlier.

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