Council defers decision on Summit's liquor license


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The Iowa City City Council voted on Tuesday night to defer renewing the liquor license of Mike Porter's downtown bar, the Summit, indefinitely.

Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine recommended councilors deny Summit, 10 S. Clinton St., a liquor-license renewal. In a letter to the City Council last week, Hargadine cited Porter's reported financial troubles as the reason for his recommendation.

"It is clear there is a failure by Mr. Porter and a number of his businesses to meet the criteria for a person of good moral character with respect to demonstrating financial responsibility and financial viability," Hargadine wrote in a memorandum.

But because Porter has recently filed for bankruptcy with a number of his businesses, councilors will have to wait to hear from the bankruptcy court, which will determine if the council can move forward with a decision, said City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes.

Another one of Porter's businesses faced a similar situation in September.

Councilors also received a recommendation to deny the liquor license of Porter's liquor store Sauce, 108 E. College St. They also deferred that decision, requesting more information on his financial standings.

Another one of Porter's bars encountered trouble on Tuesday.

Vito's, 118 E. College St., had its water shut off on Tuesday because the bar had gone too long before performing safety checks, said Ryan Olsen, a city mechanical building inspector. The business was issued three warnings prior to the shutoff.

The water was turned back on once it completed two tests for its backflow devices and fire sprinkler systems.

Porter has also filed bankruptcy for the bar, and he is facing two separate lawsuits for failing to make payments on several loans that total more than $400,000.

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