McCULLOM LAKE – All Sports Bar and Grill won't be able to serve liquor for two days this coming month.
The McCullom Lake Village Board voted, 3-2 with one abstention, to suspend the restaurant's liquor license for two weekdays.
The village president, who serves as the liquor commissioner, had originally recommended suspending it for two weekend days. The two trustees who voted "no" also wanted the suspension to be harsher, one pushing for two weekend days and one for at least one weekend.
The suspension was triggered by a bar fight that was not reported to police, Village President Terry Counley said, adding that the village has ongoing issues with All Sports, including other incidents that resulted in verbal warnings and disputes with the village board and police department.
"This is unacceptable conduct, so this is what we have to do," Counley said.
All Sports' owner, Gaylen Wester, had apologized to the board about the Aug. 17 incident, which he characterized as a "simple girl fight" that the bartenders were easily able to break up.
Police had requested the surveillance video, but because Wester and his manager, Jen Baumgartner, had been out of town until Aug. 26, the day of the hearing on their liquor license, they weren't able to get the video to the police sooner, they said.
"They didn't give us a chance to explain," Wester said. "Whenever we tried to speak, they belittled us."
The 5-year-old business has had not any issues in at least the past year, Wester said. That's when he brought in Baumgartner to clean house.
"It appalled me that they took this action," Wester said, adding that he has a meeting with his attorney Wednesday to decide whether and how to appeal the suspension.