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McCabe’s cited, loses ability to serve alcohol for 30 days

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on March 31, 2009 at 1:10 pm with No Comments »
March 31, 2009 1:10 pm

State liquor control agents cited McCabe’s American Music Cafe this month after employees allegedly served alcohol to already intoxicated patrons.

As a result, the embattled downtown club’s liquor license will be suspended for 30 days – from 4 p.m. May 14 to 4 p.m. June 13, the Washington State Liquor Control Board reported today. McCabe’s can challenging the suspension.

"We are currently reviewing it and anticipate challenging the allegations," said Mike McAleenan, the attorney for McCabe’s owners.

If the owners challenge the administrative violation, they’d be able to serve liquor until the challenge is resolved.

The violations occurred during a joint undercover operation carried out by the Washington State Liquor Control Board and the Tacoma Police Department on Saturday, March 21.

That day, a team of officers checked 10 Tacoma businesses to see whether they were selling alcohol to minors, to apparently intoxicated patrons and allowing disorderly conduct on the premises.

McCabe’s, 2611 Pacific Ave., was one of the establishments targeted in the undercover operation and the only one found in violation.

The Liquor Control Board cited McCabe’s on three counts of “allowing an apparently intoxicated person to possess/consume alcohol,” the agency reported.

“The 30-day suspension is considered an aggravated penalty,” the press release stated. “McCabe’s also received a written warning for disorderly conduct by an employee of the liquor licensed establishment.”

McCabe’s has been under the scrutiny of the Tacoma Police Department and liquor control board for some time. Last year, the board decided to pursue non-renewal of the nightclub’s liquor license. The owners have requested a heard on the decision. The hearing is scheduled for June.

Tacoma police have said the club has seen gang activity and crime problems on nights that feature hip-hop and Top 40 music. The department requested an emergency suspension of the club’s license after a shooting Oct. 25, 2007, in the parking lot at closing time. Three were wounded in what police investigators have described as gang-motivated gunfire.

The liquor board denied the emergency suspension but investigated the matter. More than a year later, the board decided to seek non-renewal of the club’s license.

McCabe’s has received two administrative violations in the past. The board issued the first on Oct. 25. 2007, for inappropriate conduct. The second, issued Nov. 30, 2007, was for selling or furnishing alcohol to an underage person.

These are the other nine establishment visited March 21 during the undercover operation. None had a violation:

Latitude 84, 8401 S. Hosmer St.

Station 56, 5602 S. Washington St.

54th Sports Bar, 5415 S. Tacoma Way

Dawson’s Again, 5443 S. Tacoma Way

Friendly Duck, 5026 S. Tacoma Way

Harvester Restaurant, 29 Tacoma Ave. N.

Doyle’s Public House, 208 St Helens

Red Bulls Bar & Grill, 1214 Puyallup Ave.

Valley Pub, 1206 Puyallup Ave.

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