City of Vermillion

By David Lias

The Vermillion City Council approved the annual alcoholic beverage licenses for bars and businesses in the City of Vermillion at its meeting Monday night, Nov. 19.

It also received a report from Vermillion Police Chief Matt Betzen that points out some of the challenges that local taverns face when it comes trying to avoid serving alcohol to minors.

According to Betzen’s report, most establishments are passing compliance checks that are regularly conducted by the police department. At the same time, they’re having to deal with minors sporting fake, high quality forms of identification

“In the last 12 months, the Vermillion Police Department has conducted 40 compliance checks on businesses that sell alcohol. Vendors failed 11 of these compliance checks and were successful in 29 of the checks,” Betzen wrote in a memo to the Vermillion City Council. “So, in the last 12 months alcohol license holders have passed 72.5 percent of compliance checks.”

Betzen’s memo summarizes the police responses to alcohol related events at each alcohol license holder’s establishment.

“Only events that occurred inside an establishment or those that can be clearly linked to the establishment are reported. For example, if a fight occurred on the sidewalk outside of an establishment, it is not reported as linked to that establishment unless the police investigation showed that some portion of the event happened inside the establishment,” he stated. “Also, one should not draw a conclusion based on the number of responses to an establishment.

“The frequency could be a result of a responsible manager calling the police for events that other managers might ignore, or it could be a reflection of successful business practices resulting in more patrons, which will inevitably result in more events,” Betzen said.

He noted that officers have increased bar checks over the last 18 months.

“This was in response to an increasing number of high-quality fake identities that were being used by underage patrons to gain access to bars,” he stated. “Of note, when officers conduct bar checks, they attempt to check all the bars in the downtown area on the same evening. Some bars appear to be more successful than others at deterring underage drinkers.”

Listed are businesses whose on-sale retailer liquor licenses with Sunday sales were renewed, and police activity at each establishment during the past year.

Re-issuance of On-Sale-Retailer Liquor with Sunday Sales:

Bebee Street II, LLC – Carey’s Bar at 18 West Main Street

• On 03/29/18, Carey’s failed a compliance check, on 10/5/18, Carey’s passed a compliance check.

• On 09/13/18, Officers cited a man who refused to provided identification to prove he was over 21 years of age.

• On 07/18/18, Officers responded to a dispute between two men. No one was arrested.

• On 07/15/18, Officers assisted management with contacting a woman who was not allowed on the property and removing her.

• On 03/30/18, Management turned over a fraudulent ID they had seized. Investigation resulted in the suspect being charged.

• On 03/25/18, Management requested assistance with a suspicious ID. Officers determined the ID was valid.

• On 01/28/18, Management requested assistance with three subjects who had been kicked out of the bar attempting to return. Officers advised the suspects no to return to the bar.

• Management cooperated with all investigative efforts and routinely initiated calls to police to deal with problems.

Bunyan’s, LLC – Bunyans at 1201 West Main

• On 03/22/18, Bunyans passed a compliance check.

• On 10/18/18, Management requested assistance with removing a disorderly man. Officers removed the man.

• On 11/27/17, Management requested assistance with a man who would not pay his bill. Officers arrested the man for unrelated charges.

• Management cooperated with all investigative efforts.

Charcoal Lounge, Inc, - Charcoal Lounge at 6 & 8 East Main

• On 03/29/18, Charcoal Lounge passed a compliance check.

• On 10/31/18, Complainant reported excessively loud music coming from Charcoal Lounge. Officers were unable to verify the complaint.

• On 10/04/18, Officers investigated a report of an assault. No one was arrested/charged.

• On 09/03/18, Officers investigated a report of a fight in the bar. Two subjects were arrested for assault.

• On 09/29/18, Officers responded to a report of a possible alcohol poisoning at the bar.

• On 09/19/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found an underage patron drinking in the bar. She provided a false name and date of birth.

• On 09/13/18, while conducting a bar check officers found an underage patron drinking in the bar. She was in possession of an altered ID card.

• On 09/08/18, Officers responded to an assault at the bar. One subject was arrested for assault.

• On 09/05/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found an underage patron drinking. She had possession of another person’s ID.

• On 09/05/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found two underage patrons. Both had false/altered licenses.

• On 08/30/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found one underage patron in the bar.

• On 08/23/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found one underage patron in the bar. The patron admitted to using a fake ID to gain entrance.

• On 08/18/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found one underage patron in the bar. The patron admitted to sneaking past the door guard when a large group was entering the bar.

• On 08/11/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found one underage patron in the bar.

• On 06/03/18, Officers responded to a report of an assault that occurred inside the bar. No charges were filed.

• On 05/05/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found one underage patron. The patron had a false/altered ID in their possession.

• On 04/13/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found two underage patrons. Onepossessed a fraudulent identity card.

• On 04/08/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found six underage patrons. Two possessed false licenses, two more lied about their identity.

• On 03/25/18, Officers responded to investigate an assault. An underage patron was contacted during the investigation and lied about his identity.

• On 03/02/18, while conducting a bar check, officers found two underage patrons. One patron possessed an altered driver’s license. The other had a stolen driver’s license.

• On 02/25/18, Complainant reported she was sexually grabbed on the dance floor in the bar.

• On 02/21/18, while conducting bar checks, officers found two underage patrons in the bar.

• On 02/18/18, Officers responded to a request for help with a highly intoxicated patron. The patron had vomited on themselves and was unable to care for themselves. The ambulance responded.

• On 01/01/18, Officers responded and assisted with a highly intoxicated man who had fallen and hit his head.

• In general, management has cooperated with investigative efforts. They have been frustrated by the number of false identifications found on the premises and the resulting increase in police bar checks.

City of Vermillion – The Bluff’s Golf Course at 2021 East Main

• No compliance checks were done at the Bluff’s Golf Course in the last 12 months.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at the Bluff’s.

Fire Works, Inc – Dakota Brick House at 15 West Main Street

• On 03/22/18, Dakota Brick House failed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at the Dakota Brick House.

Fraternal Order of Eagles – Eagles’ Club 2421 at 114 West Main

• On 03/22/18, the Eagles’ Club failed a compliance check.

• On 10/3/18, Management requested assistance with a crowd at the door. The club was at capacity and the crowd was becoming unruly. Police presence solved the issue.

• Management cooperated with all investigative efforts.

J.N.J. Management, Inc – The Road House at 911 East Cherry

• On 06/05/18, the Road House passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months.

Leo’s Sports Bar & Grill, LLC – Leo’s Lounge at 11 South Market

• On 03/22/18, Leo’s failed a compliance check, and on 10/5/18, Leo’s failed a compliance check.

• On 04/21/18, while conducting bar checks officers found two underage patrons. Both were in possession of altered licenses.

• Management cooperated with all investigative efforts.

Old Lumber Company, Inc. – Old Lumber Co. Bar and Grill at 11 & 15 Court Street

• On 03/29/18, The Old Lumber Co. Bar & Grill passed a compliance check.

• On 05/13/18, Management requested assistance with a man refusing to leave the property. The man was arrested for trespassing.

• On 02/25/18, Officers responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery of a purse from the bar. The subject was arrested on multiple offenses.

• On 11/18/18, Officers responded to report of the bar serving minors. Investigation found no minors and the caller had made the compliant after being removed from the bar by the owner.

• Management cooperated with all investigative efforts.

Red Steakhouse, Inc. – Red Steakhouse at 1 East Main Street

• On 06/05/18, Red Steakhouse passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at Red Steakhouse.

Re-Issuance of Retail On-Off Sale Wine:

Blue Inc. – Little Italy’s at 831 E. Cherry

• On 05/29/18, Little Italy’s passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at Little Italy’s.

Café Brule, Inc. – Café Brule at 24 West Main

• On 05/29/18, Café Brule passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at Café Brule.

Circle 13, LLC – Westside Inn at 1313 West Cherry

• No compliance checks have been conducted at the Westside Inn in the past 12 months.

• On 02/23/18, Management reported possible underage person drinking in the one of the inn’s rooms.

• The Westside Inn is under new management. There have been alcohol related events in the Inn’s rooms but not related to the sale of alcohol by the Westside Inn. Management has cooperated with all investigative efforts.

D&D Foods, Inc. – Hartford Steak Co Tavern at 7 Court St.

• On 06/27/18, Hartford Steak Co Tavern passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at Hartford Steak Co.

Fire Works, Inc – Dakota Brick House at 15 West Main Street

• On 03/22/18, Dakota Brick House failed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at the Dakota Brick House.

HyVee Food Store Inc. – HyVee at 525 West Cherry Street

• On 04/21/18, HyVee passed a compliance check.

• On 09/07/18, Management requested assistance removing an intoxicated man who was harassing other patrons.

• On 09/06/18, Management requested assistance with an intoxicated man trespassing at the store. The man had been told not to return to the property earlier in the day. He was arrested.

• On 04/15/18, Management requested assistance with a patron attempting to steal beer from the store. Subject was arrested.

• Management cooperated fully with all investigative efforts.

Jon Donald Enterprises, Inc. – Silk Road Café at 12 West Main

• On 06/05/18, Silk Road Café passed a compliance check.

• On 11/18/17, Officers investigated a theft of services, including alcoholic beverages.

• Management cooperated fully with all investigative efforts.

Mexico Viejo, Inc. – Mexico Viejo Mexican Restaurant 432 E. Cherry

• On 05/29/18, Mexico Viejo failed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at the Mexico Veijo.

Red Steakhouse, Inc. – Red Steakhouse at 1 East Main Street

• On 06/05/18, Red Steakhouse passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related offenses in the last 12 months at Red Steakhouse.

Sunset Oil, Inc. – Sunset Casino at 629 Stanford Street, Suite C.

• On 4/21/18, Pump N’ Pak passed a compliance check, and on 10/5/18, Pump N’ Pak failed a compliance check.

• On 11/05/18, Officers assisted management with advising a subject not to return to the property.

• On 10/14/18, Officers responded to a theft of alcoholic beverages from Pump N’Pak.

• On 10/04/18, Management contacted police regarding a subject who was subsequently arrested for DWI.

• On 05/19/18, Management contacted police regarding a vehicle in their lot with young people drinking alcohol. An underage person was contacted and cited for consuming alcohol.

• On 05/09/18, Management contacted police about a fugitive who was in the casino. Police arrested the fugitive on an active warrant.

• On 04/15/18, Management requested assistance with an intoxicated subject refusing to leave the premise. The man was arrested for trespassing.

• On 12/07/17, Management called about a vehicle in their parking lot. The driver was intoxicated and arrested for DWI.

• Management cooperated fully with all investigative efforts.

Varsity Pub, LLC - the Varsity at 113 East Main Street

• On 03/29/18, the Varsity passed a compliance check.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related events at the Varsity in the last 12 months.

Vermillion Downtown Cultural Assoc. Inc – Coyote Twin Theater at 108 East Main St.

• No compliance checks have been conducted in the last 12 months.

• The department did not respond to any alcohol related events at the Coyote Theater in the last 12 months.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. – Wal-Mart #3734 at 1207 Princeton Street

• On 06/05/18, Wal-Mart passed a compliance check.

• On 09/06/18, Management requested assistance removing an intoxicated man from the premises.

• On 12/12/17, Management called regarding an intoxicated woman asleep in a dressing room.

• On 12/03/17, Management called regarding an intoxicated man they wanted removed from the store.

• On 11/24/17, Management requested assistant with the theft of beer from the store.

• On 11/22/17, Management requested assistance with advising a subject not to return to the store because they had previously stolen beer from the store.

• Management cooperated fully with all investigative efforts.

Reissuance of Municipal Off-Sale Package Liquor:

City of Vermillion – Municipal Liquor Store at 826 Cottage

• On 04/21/18, the Municipal Liquor Store passed a compliance check.

• On 09/17/18, Officers responded to a report of theft of alcohol (Shoplifting) from the Municipal Liquor Store.

• On 09/15/18, an underage patron attempted to purchase alcohol with an altered license. They were stopped and charged.

• On 09/10/18, Officers responded to a report of theft of alcohol (Shoplifting) from the Municipal Liquor Store.

• On 09/09/18, Officers investigated a theft of alcohol from the Municipal Liquor Store.

• Management cooperated fully with all investigative efforts.

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