The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

February 5, 2014

City analyzing bar curfew for college-age minors

CLINTON — Legends Sports Bar owner Dave Holmes bills his business as a restaurant and a drinking establishment and says he’s careful to follow the city’s expectations for alcohol providers. He makes customers wear wristbands and cards anyone 26 or younger before serving.

By doing so, Holmes said he’s never been cited by the city of Clinton for a violation in 29 years of ownership. And since 45 percent of Legends’ gross sales are through food purchases, the business also qualifies for the city’s Class II Liquor License exemption.

Minors under 21 can remain on the Legends premises until 12:30 a.m., whereas without the exemption they would be asked to leave. This, said Holmes, allows him to provide a legal late night hangout place for college-age minors.

When the city’s Rules and Regulations Committee convened Tuesday, Holmes said he felt other businesses don’t play by the same rules but still apply for the exemption. This opens the door for more underage drinking.

“The state has me down as a restaurant but the city has me down as a bar,” Holmes said. “Ask the average parent in town and you’ll get an answer about what type of place they want their (underage) kid in.”

Rules and Reg has spent several of its recent meetings contemplating how to cut down underage drinking in the city. Before, that committee floated requiring all bars to use wristbands. This week, city leaders discussed the possibility of scaling back that 12:30 a.m. curfew and restructuring the Class II exemptions.

Both were ideas favored by Police Commander Tom Bohle. But doing so would greatly impact Legends, Holmes said, because it would mean removing dining customers who aren’t of age. He also wondered aloud if the other businesses that qualify under Class II are being honest with their personal assessments.

To receive the exemption, a bar must prove that 65 percent or less of its gross sales are from alcohol purchases.

“I think you would need a certain percentage (of gross alcohol sales) to even apply,” Holmes said, adding current city code doesn’t specify.

Bohle said Class II establishments require a monitoring plan to remain in compliance.

He presented committee members Julie Allesee, Tom Determann and Paul Gassman with data that showed the threat of underage drinking in Clinton. The city currently grants 23 Class I exemptions and 15 Class II. After studying locations with liquor permits, in 2012-2013, police found 14 compliance check violations out of 91 attempts — a 15.4 percent non-compliance rate.

The commander said he thinks 12:30 a.m. is too late for 18- to 20-year-olds to be at a bar.

“When officers go into an establishment, they have to look at time, age,” Bohle said. “Curfew for under age 14 is 10 p.m. For 14- to 17-year-olds it’s midnight. Now you look at the Class II exemption... it does get confusing.”

Rather than amend the permit guidelines, the committee decided to continue to gather more information on the matter and reconvene at its next meeting, March 4.

Holmes recently served on a coalition constructed to analyze the underage drinking scope in Clinton, the original source for both the wristband and the earlier curfew recommendations. While he acknowledged Legends receives more money for alcohol sales, Holmes is in favor of more classifications because it will separate Legends from bars targeting different crowds.

“If they drop the curfew back too far, some of my customers aren’t going to be allowed in there,” he said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Boats collide on Mississippi River in Clinton

    A boating collision late Saturday in Clinton caused a closure of the Mississippi River to boating traffic.

    July 27, 2014

  • O'Malley O'Malley visits Clinton amid talk of presidential run

    Martin O'Malley's latest foray into Iowa began, appropriately, in a place called Clinton.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCJCC heading toward new jail facility referendum

    The Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission is continuing its path toward the construction of a new jail facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • UPDATE: Police seek assistance in Fifth Ave. shooting investigation

    A shooting that occurred Friday morning in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue South remains under investigation by the Clinton Police Department.

    July 25, 2014

  • JUST IN: Man shot in downtown Clinton

    A 32-year-old man was shot in downtown Clinton early today.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-25-14 Football field Football facility receives makeover CAMANCHE — Camanche School District administrators expect updates to the high school football facility to be completed next week.Camanche Superintendent Tom Parker said crews have worked to make sure everything is complete before next week’s Clinton

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concurrent terms ordered in burglary case

    CLINTON — A Clinton man will serve four concurrent prison terms for his role in a string of 2012 burglaries.Assistant Clinton County Attorney Amanda Myers on Thursday requested the court to order Cory Mitchell, 38, to serve as much as 10 years in pri

    July 25, 2014

  • Dominant image Drying out CAMANCHE — It’s not been ideal summer for Rock Creek Marina and Campground staff members.A constant battle with the Mississipapi River’s flooded waters and the wreckage it has left in its wake has prevented the group from opening the campground to gu

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • District tries to attract prison workers FULTON, Ill. — While the renovation process at the Thomson, Illinois, Correctional Center has yet to begin, a few high-level management positions have already been filled.Filling those positions are people, and most importantly to the River Bend Scho

    July 25, 2014

  • New tourism position denied FULTON, Ill. — With the unexpected departure of former Tourism Director and Chamber of Commerce Director Heather Bennett, the city of Fulton has worked for the last two months to pick up the pieces and fill the void she left behind.One option was to

    July 24, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche
Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.