The Board of Liquor License Commissioners called the hearing—which was originally scheduled for January and postponed twice—for violations of multiple rules including, but not limited to, several violations of 3.12: “failure to preserve the peace of the community…”
The licensee for Club Confetti is Cristin Neal Adad, who declined to speak at the hearing.
Marek Tarasiewicz, who lives near the bar in Upper Fell’s Point, said the tavern was a source of frustration and entertainment.
“It’s like Jerry Springer every day,” he said.
The first violation of 3.12, according to the Liquor Board docket, occurred on Nov. 22, 2012, when police responded to an assault near the bar.
Witnesses produced video that they had taken of various incidents, in addition to providing verbal testimony.
Victor Corbin, who lives a couple doors from the bar, showed a video of the Nov. 22 incident at the hearing. According to the docket, witnesses claim that one of the people involved in the assault was one of the owners of Club Confetti.
“It appears to be a very brutal fight underneath the awning of the bar,” said Stephan Fogleman, Liquor Board Commissioner.
Franklin Barada, manager of Club Confetti, said, of the man who was allegedly assaulted: “I believe he was in the club, but the fight was outside.”
Police officers testified that they responded to the assault, and the man had a bloody nose and a swollen eye, but did not want to cooperate with the investigation or press charges.
According to the Liquor Board’s docket, the second, third, fourth, and fifth violations of 3.12 occurred on Dec. 1-3 of 2012, when patrons were “yelling, screaming, and waking up neighbors three nights in a row,” and on Jan 10, 2013 when “security personnel were assaulted by three female patrons.”
Fogleman asked Barada if he’d ever been told to bar was too loud.
“By the Liquor Board, yes, but not by the neighbors,” Barada said.
The Liquor Board also charged the licensee with a violation of rule 3.03, which requires licensees to have employee records on site.
Barada was not able to produce employee records when asked on Nov. 22.
He said he was distracted by the assault outside the bar.
Liquor Board inspector Karen Brooks also attended the hearing.
She said that she had not had any negative experiences with Club Confetti herself and had not responded to 311 complaints about the bar.
“But that’s not to say that the community doesn’t have a legitimate complaint,” she said.
Brooks acknowledged “cultural differences” and said Club Confetti was “a livelier place” than [some other bars].
Fogleman acknowledged that a bar can’t always control its patrons:
“A bar is a bar. Patrons leave in a good mood or a bad mood, and you can’t always catch it. But this is happening on a regular basis,” he said
Referring to the Nov. 22 incident, Fogleman said there was a clear “nexus between the bar and that fight.”
He cited previous fines and penalties handed down from the Liquor Board in 2010 and 2011.
“There is too much police involvement at this bar. There is too much noise at this bar. It has more noise problems than a bar twice its size. Every year they are disturbing the peace. This is happening on a regular basis,” he said.
“It’s injurious to the neighborhood.”
The revocation was effective immediately.
If Club Confetti does appeal, it can ask the board to stay (postpone) the revocation pending appeal to the Circuit Court.
Under normal circumstances, if the board agrees to stay a revocation, a bar can reopen until the appeal hearing; however, Confetti had previously received a 30-day suspension for previous violations.
That suspension began on June 1.
Bars do not lose their licenses often, but in November, the Liquor Board revoked the license of La Raza Cantina, at Eastern and East avenues, following complaints from the community and a petition. The revocation was upheld by the Circuit Court.
Fogleman said that Club Confetti can ask the Liquor Board to “stay” the revocation, which it had not done as of Monday, June 3.
As of July 1 bars that have their licenses revoked by the Liquor Board will no longer be able to appeal to the Liquor Board for a stay; only the court in which the appeal is filed (the Circuit Court) will be able to grant a stay on the board’s decision.
On Tuesday, June 4, a sign tacked to Club Confetti’s front door said that the bar was closed for remodeling. The sign, roughly translated, said, “The Confetti girls invite you to and hope for you at the Arizona Bar and Restaurant, Broadway and Lombard St.”
by Danielle Sweeney