Archive for Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Council asked to pull license of Baldwin bar

December 3, 2003

The building landlord of a local bar wants the establishment's recently granted cereal malt beverage license rescinded.

Gary Culley asked the Baldwin City Council to pull the Salt Mine's cereal malt beverage license because he believed bar manager Mike Magers had not met the requirements for the license.

"Mike's there without a contract, without a lease and not paying any rent," Culley said. "He's doing business as usual and I have a heck of a problem with that."

The council granted Magers the license allowing the sale of 3.2 percent alcohol at the Nov. 3 meeting after the bar had to close because it no longer had a liquor license.

Magers told the Signal in November the Salt Mine, 301 Ames St., had to close briefly because it no longer had a lease and the state Alcohol Beverage Control requires a lease or deed for a business to have a liquor license.

Magers, who has operated the business for five years, said he and landlord Culley have a lease-to-purchase agreement on the building, but Culley doesn't want to sell and did not renew Magers' lease.

The Salt Mine reopened in early November once the council granted the cereal malt beverage license because city statutes do not require proof of a deed or lease for the license.

Culley told the council the bar shouldn't have been granted the license because background checks were not done like required.

"I feel you're going against the criteria by not doing background checks," he said.

Council Member Todd Cohen said the council members approved the license without the background checks because they had been told checks had been done for the bar's original liquor license and no new employees had been hired.

But Culley said background checks needed to be done because the cereal malt beverage license was not being renewed when it got council's approval.

"This is a new license, it's not a renewal," he said.

Mayor Ken Hayes said the city was going to review the state and city statutes and contact ABC about the issue before making any decision about Culley's request to rescind the Salt Mine's license.

All of Baldwin's cereal malt beverage licenses, including the Salt Mine's, are scheduled for yearly renewal following review at the next council meeting.

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