Evansville business loses liquor license for becoming common nui - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Evansville business loses liquor license for becoming common nuisance

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An Evansville business has been stripped of its liquor license for becoming a common nuisance.

The owners and manager of Hott's Grill went before the alcohol licensing review board to renew their license, but the Evansville Police Department, the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor's Office and the owner of neighboring business, Schulteis Insurance, were there to oppose the renewal. 

Officer Hands with EPD testified that the business has been involved in several police runs involving shots fired and drug activity.

The owners tried to defend their business saying that they when they switched business models to support private parties, things went south. They vowed to go back to their traditional restaurant model, but the review board wasn't convinced that they could in fact make that change.

"You own the business. They don't, they're out there to make money, just like you're out there to make money. But when you sit there and see something happen from day one, and you do nothing about it, it comes back to you. It doesn't come to them, you're sitting there like President Tom is saying, you keep blaming other people. It's time to take responsibility for your actions yourself," a board member said.

The owners vowed to go back to their traditional restaurant model, but the review board wasn't convinced that they could in fact make that change.

"We're not going to throw any more parties there, ever. It's done. It's done," the owners, the Merrick Brothers, said.

"We have a gang task force in our office and they come and tell me every time they're going to have a party. Saturday something is going to happen, they monitor the chatter. They monitor those types of things and I think the important thing to remember is, they're not open everyday. In fact, they've only been open however many times they've had a party and we've had major problems roughly every time they've had a party," county prosecutor, Nick Hermann said.

The review board says they denied the license renewal specifically because the business became a common nuisance. They can appeal the decision, but the owners tell 14 News they plan to sell the liquor license.

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