City Cancels Hotel's Liquor License
Gang members, fights, and gunfire; it's what police dealt with outside a southwest Omaha hotel, that made the city take action on the inside. The Omaha City Council decided to cancel the liquor license for the Carlisle Hotel near 108th and L St. Police say it's been an ongoing problem that was costing the city because they needed officers to work overtime to be here whenever they knew there was an event. A manager said they were trying to stop any problems, but the city had enough.
Sergeant Charles Ott with the OPD’s Southwest Precinct has had to send officers to pro-actively protect people 10-15 times in about the last 3 years, and it progressively got worse. Police even saw known gang members there.
"We've had instances of fights going on outside the bar itself, we've had instances of shots fired," Sgt. Ott explained.
One of the managers said they'd increased their own security to stop these incidents from happening using off duty police officers for the crowds.
"Every police officer is good for every 100 people," said Schere Mezamh with the Carlisle Hotel.
The Omaha City Council unanimously voted to cancel the Carlisle Hotel's liquor license. The bar inside operated under many names but most recently Club 109, or Argus 109. The council said the Carlisle continued to bring in the wrong crowds after they'd told them not to, costing the city extra money and putting innocent people and first responders at risk. The city doesn't want to use extra manpower to watch one bar anymore.
"The shots being fired is just simply the evidence of the escalation of the violence occurring there,” said Deputy City Attorney Tom Mumgaard. “The city has long held the position that the licensee is responsible for their customers. If you attract the people to your bar, you are responsible when they misbehave and that's how we got to this point."
The city says it's rare that they cancel a liquor license. In 2010, they denied a license to the Keno King on Ames Ave. because the owner didn’t want to follow restrictions set by the council. And in 2008, Cheaters on 40th & Farnam had their license canceled by the city. If the Carlisle Hotel appeals the ruling it will be heard by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.