Coins Sports Bar liquor license revocation hearing adjourned after seven hours | Local News
The liquor licensing fate for Coins Sports Bar will remain in limbo for at least a week.
After a seven-hour hearing on Monday, the city’s licensing and permit committee voted to adjourn a revocation hearing on the bar’s liquor licenses and took up the case Feb. 24.
The popular sports bar at 1714 52nd St. is at risk of losing its licenses to serve alcohol, or possibly receiving a suspension of its liquor privileges.
The Kenosha Police Department has recommended that the bar’s licenses be revoked or suspended after months of what reports say are “recurring messy events” that “require a substantial commitment of Kenosha Police Department resources.”
The department filed a seven-page complaint with the committee that listed 10 incidents occurred inside or outside the establishment during the last six months.
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Most of them involve unruly patrons who did not disperse during closing hours, outdoor drinking and physical altercations, according to the complaint. A Kenosha police officer was reportedly struck by a vehicle in the early morning hours of July 4, 2021 and suffered serious shoulder injuries. Some of the officers who testified on Monday said they feared for their safety when crowds repeatedly became disorderly in Coins parking lots.
New Year’s Eve Homicide
The most recent incident, which happened around 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day, ended in gunfire. During this incident, a man was killed in the parking lot of the tavern. Three others were injured, one seriously.
Police arrived that morning to find vehicles fleeing the scene and people fleeing the parking lot. The complaint says 33 officers from the Kenosha Police Department and five other outside agencies responded to take control of the situation.
“That the recurring disorderly occurrences at the premises require a substantial commitment of Kenosha Police Department resources and that the crowds and associated gunfire present an ongoing threat of imminent danger to the safety of officers responding to the premises as well as to commercial customers and those residing in the surrounding neighborhood,” the complaint from Acting Police Chief Eric Larsen read.
The committee heard testimony from a dozen police officers on Monday. Footage from the body camera was also shown. Assistant City Attorney Matthew Knight said the city’s witnesses all testified Monday.
The bar is co-owned by Matthew Carlson and Jerry Cousin, who have owned the bar for less than two years. Knight said the problems at the bar only started after it was sold to them by members of the Gascoigne family.
Anthony Perrine, owner of Lou Perrine’s Gas & Grocery, located at 5145 Sheridan Road, spoke at the hearing. Perrine said he didn’t want to see Coins shut down but said substantial changes were needed.
“I was in my store on New Years Eve. There was a nice family, I guess you could say a wealthy family, who came to my store at 4:30 a.m. They were going to stay at the Wyndham (hotel) and they came in and as they brought their baby to go to the bathroom and have a snack.
Suddenly, Perrine continued, “I have 25 people running through the store (shouting) ‘They’re shooting, they’re shooting!’ These are people we want to bring to our community to visit our lake because all of us downtown have been dying for two years and now their first impression of our town is “another Kenosha shooting”.
Perrine said he told the family that such mayhem was not what Kenosha was aiming for.
“All I want is that I want my employees to be safe, I want my community to be safe,” he said. “We can’t keep going from bar to bar and having chaos all the time.”
Defense to be presented next week
Coins attorney Anthony Nudo said he will present a bar defense next week.
“Based on testimony at the hearing, it is clear that no citations have been issued to Coins in the past two years, and no demerit points have been assessed against their license,” Nudo said in a statement to the Kenosha News on Tuesday. “The city has never contacted or attempted to contact Coins’ agent regarding any alleged issues.
“The first we hear of issues with exhibits that arise at the revocation level is with the service of a summons and complaint. This is not how the system should work – demerit points should be assessed or citations issued before a dismissal hearing. Coins has always worked and will continue to work with the city and the police department to keep the neighborhood safe. As officers testified, Coins responded to requests from the police department, and they will continue to do so.
At the end of Monday’s meeting, Ald. Curt Wilson, chairman of the committee, said he did not want the media to contact committee members for comment on the matter.
“I would strongly suggest to press: do not contact the members of this committee until this matter is resolved one way or another,” he said. “Between now and the 24th, don’t call the members of this committee (about) what you think and all that kind of stuff. I’m not going to tolerate that.”
The full council will consider the committee’s recommendations when making a final decision on the coins.