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Problem bars in Lorain to appeal liquor license denial, straining police

Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 18:33:26-04

Fights, shootings, stabbings and assaults. These reports have shut down two bars in the city of Lorain.

The state denied liquor license renewals to Bootleggers Den and Luna in January, but both bars are trying to get them back through an appeal with the Liquor Control Commission. Lorain police and city leaders will travel to Columbus this month to oppose the appeals.

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"We would have to go there and sit there at night because if we weren't there when that bar emptied out we would have fights in the middle of the street," Lt. Michael Failing said.

Lorain police say they view the two bars as public safety risks. 

"Officers, every night that bar was open, had to go sit out there and monitor the bar instead of patrolling the city, responding to citizens' complaints," Lt. Failing said. 

Assaults, weapons and robberies have been reported at Bootleggers; shootings, stabbings and assaults at Luna. 

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"The way that we received those reports is not because someone at the bar called us. We had victims showing up at the hospital with holes in them, gunshot or stab wounds," Detective Orlando Colon said.

Both bars are closed now. Police and elected officials in Lorain went through the lengthy process involved to get their liquor licenses denied. 

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control denied both license renewals, citing interference with public decency and a disregard for laws and regulations. 

But both bars are appealing that decision with Liquor Control Commission in an April 12th hearing. Now Lorain Police and city officials will have to travel to Columbus to testify about issues all over again. 

"It's a lot of man hours we put into doing this. Just pulling the information alone takes weeks of time," Lt. Failing said. 

Detective Colon and others have already testified against the bars in opposition of their licenses.

Lorain police say they will travel to Columbus with elected officials and others to oppose the appeal next week. 

New 5 was not able to reach the owners of Bootleggers Den or Luna for a comment on this story. We never heard back from them on requests from our past reporting.