The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Downtown establishment Brick’s still going round with Police Department on liquor license renewal

In City Hall, Police Department on May 1, 2009 at 7:53 am

Bars aren’t churches, but, nonetheless, City Hall has some new expectations when it comes to the annual renewal of a liquor establishment’s liquor permit.

So the saga of the downtown Brick’s Bar and Grill, 320 Second Ave. SE, continues.

At the start of April, the City Council set aside a request from the Police Department to deny a liquor license renewal to Brick’s because Brick’s application for the license had some problems. The Police Department called omissions untruths, while the bar’s owner, Jade Harper-Hronik, called it an incomplete application.

Back then, the police made note of Harper-Hronik’s arrest for intoxication and felony convictions of two people associated with the downtown club.

In capturing the consensus of the City Council in early April, council member Brian Fagan asked Police Chief Greg Graham if he would be willing to meet with Harper-Hronik to see if he could create a consequence short of license denial for what the Police Department called untruthfulness. Graham, who said consequences are important, said he would be willing to do so.

It seemed like all was well.

Then a week ago, the Brick’s license matter returned to the City Council agenda, again in a way that looked as though the Police Department was seeking to deny the license renewal.

The matter then was pulled from the agenda.

This week, in a letter to the council, Harper-Hronik refutes the latest questions about her business practices in a letter to the City Council.

Harper-Hronik states that unpaid state sales tax payments have been paid. She states that she has satisfied two liens on the property. She states that her husband, Richard, did not threaten a prospective buyer of the business over the potential buyer’s decision not to make the purchase. She states that inspections of the premises are in the process of being completed.

In early April, Harper-Hronik won sympathy from some council members because she purchased and renovated the downtown Brick’s after the June flood.

She continues to argue that she had correctly filled out paperwork in September on the bar and for another drinking establishment in the city even if there were some questions raised about the latest application.

In any event, should the council ultimately deny a license to Brick’s, the bar can stay open as it appeals to the state’s Alcohol Beverages Division. Appeals can take up to a year to resolve.

And it’s not just Brick’s.

The Police Department in recent weeks convinced the City Council to block the renewal of a liquor license for The Tycoon, which is just down the block from Brick’s. The Tycoon, which did not move to renew its license in timely fashion, now has a probationary license and has agreed to better police its bar customers in an agreement with the Police Department.

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