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Field House & Etc. may lose liquor licenses

BY ZHI XIONG | JULY 24, 2009 7:15 AM

The owners of 3rd Base and Et Cetera may have to fight to maintain their liquor licenses at the Iowa City City Council meeting July 28.

Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine recommended that the city not renew the permits for the bars, located at 111 E. College St. and 118 S. Dubuque St., respectively.

On Thursday night, the news surprised several students on the Pedestrian Mall.

“Why take those two bars? All the other bars do the same thing,” said Tomas Reiling, a 21-year-old UI student.

In recent memos to Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey and City Council members, Hargadine concluded both bars face issues of underage and the over consumption of alcohol, physically violent behavior by patrons, and the “apparent inability of staff to adequately address the issues.”

After July 1, Hargadine wrote, he must recommend denying liquor-license renewals to establishments that have an citation-to-bar visit ratio greater than 1.0.

The Field House, as 3rd Base is commonly known, is popular for its generous birthday specials in which patrons can purchase 21 pitchers for $25.

Last year, law-enforcement officers made 1.456 citations for PAULA per bar visit, on average, according to December 2008 statistics. This year, police have made 1.854 citations per visit, a rate second to the Summit, 10 S. Clinton St., with 2.028, a May report shows.

Amy England, a 23-year-old UI student, said 3rd Base’s reputation counters the police recommendation.

Click here for documents sent to Et Cetera.
Click here for documents sent to 3rd Base.

 

“Everyone says the Field House is the most strict,” she said. “Of everyone I know who is underage who drinks, they say they can’t get in at the Field House.”

Last year 60 Et Cetera patrons were cited for underage drinking, or 1.429 per visit, compared with 1.469 on average so far in 2009.

Iowa City police also cited Et Cetera earlier this year for breaking a city ordinance for limitations on sales. The bar reportedly offered unlimited alcohol to some audience members who attended a Feb. 15 performance at Englert Civic Theatre, 221 E. Washington St.

A plainclothes officer was admitted to Et Cetera after the show, displayed a special ticket he got at the Englert, and received a “VIP” wristband. A female bartender said the wristband guaranteed “all you can drink draws of Bud Light.”

The bar was not open Thursday night; a sign on its door said it is closed for renovations.
“We’ve gotten tons of calls about the liquor license,” said manager Morgan Strader; she and other managers would not comment further.

Owner George Etre did not return messages. David Carey, contacted by City Clerk Marian Karr about 3rd Base, could not be reached for comment.

The City Council is set to examine the liquor licenses at its July 28 meeting.

In a July 16 e-mail to Carey at “The Field House,” Karr notified him the meeting is an opportunity to be heard. She included a copy of Hargadine’s recommendation.

More than the licenses could be at stake, however.

Iowa City’s 500-foot ordinance prevents new bars from opening close to existing establishments.

DI reporter Holly Hines and DI Metro editor Regina Zilbermints contributed to this article.


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