Dubuque bar could lose its liquor license for good - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque bar could lose its liquor license for good


DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing is recommending the city council disapprove a liquor license renewal at one Dubuque bar. Players Sports Bar is on Central Avenue in Dubuque, just a block down from the sight of two of Dubuque's latest shootings.  Police say they've responded to 285 calls for service at players since January 1st, 2009.

After police noticed an increase in calls at Players from 2006 to 2007, they started devoting additional time and attention to the area. They say after four years calls have increased. And they want it to stop. Owners, on the other hand, say it's not the bar that's the problem.

The inside of Players sports bar sits quiet on a Friday afternoon. But each week, Thursday through Saturday, you can catch quite a crowd here at night.

"Most of my patrons are neighborhood people," said owner David Lorenz.

Lorenz has owned players for seven years. He says this family bar is a neighborhood business. But Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing says this bar is giving police more business. And that's not a good thing.

"Fights, or just general loud music, loud people. A lot of public nuisance type calls. Just disturbing the general peace in the neighborhood," said Dalsing.

Since January 1st, 2009 police have responded to 285 calls for service to players, 26 disturbances, 14 assaults or batteries, four against properties and 16 public into or possession of drugs. That resulted in 71 violations.

"Calls for service are still high, they're sucking up a lot of our police resources, taking squad cars away from other parts of the city. And causing problems for people that have to live in that area," said Dalsing.

But Lorenz says his bar isn't to blame.

"To me it's very misleading. Because I'm open four days a week. Wednesday through Saturday, times 52 weeks. That's 208 nights I am open. Out of those 208 nights the police department surrounds my bar at closing time."

But Dalsing says that's because more police are needed.

"And we expect the officers to be in areas where there is potential problems to try to resolve any issues before they happen," said Dalsing.

Now, the decision will come down to a city council vote. Something that could make everyday and night quiet inside Players.

"They're basically gonna rip my life away from me for something I've never done," said Lorenz

As for other bars police say there are eight near players. They've received a combined 122 calls for those. Compare that to the 285 they've received at players alone.

Lorenz says the police recommended he enact a dress code, charge a cover and stop playing certain types of music after nine o'clock, all things he's not willing to do. However he did agree to up security efforts and limit the number of people inside the bar.

The city council will vote on the issue Monday, March 1st.

By the way, we checked and in the last four years Players Sports Bar has not received any charges or citations from the police.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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