Janesville72.7°

Mz. Grizz closes doors after 23 police calls

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Catherine W. Idzerda
April 7, 2010
— Terri Fleming said she wanted to run an old-fashioned neighborhood bar.

Instead, she got police calls, bar fights and a request that she and her manager, Penny Nordberg, appear before the city Alcohol Licensing Advisory Committee.


She said it wasn’t worth it.


On Tuesday, Fleming, told the committee she was relinquishing the license for the tavern Mz. Grizz, 721 Center Ave., Janesville. The license is being relinquished with a contingency. If another person is interested in running a bar at that location, they could apply for the license.


The license expires June 30, and the bar is now closed.


“I’m too old for this,” said Fleming, who is 51.


Fleming was referring to a series of police calls at her bar. Between Feb. 26 and March 29, Janesville police were called to the bar 23 times. Of those, seven were for fights, Deputy Police Chief Danny Davis said.


During the same period, another downtown bar, Quotes, 24 N. Main St., had 19 calls.


“What’s different between the two is the level of cooperation from staff when we got there,” Davis said.


Nordberg was the bar’s manager.


“At Quotes, the staff is willing and able to point out to us who the problem people are,” Davis said. “They are prone to calling us very early on when things start to head south.”


At Mz. Grizz, “nobody had any idea what had happened,” Davis said.


“They would say, ‘Well, you know, I was bartending,’” Davis said. “They either don’t want to give up customers, or they’re not paying attention.”


Also, the majority of the fights at Mz. Grizz were inside the bar while the fights at Quotes were outside.


“If they’re outside their bar and they call them in, they get attributed to their bar,” Davis said.


Fleming told the committee that she and her husband had dreamed of opening a neighborhood bar or restaurant in northern Wisconsin.


Gregory “Griz” Fleming died in 2008.


Fleming said she opened Mz. Grizz in his memory, but it wasn’t what she had hoped for.


Things got particularly bad after the bar started hosting a hip-hop night on Wednesdays, Fleming said.


“It’s not worth it,” Fleming said.


On March 16, Fleming was ticketed for allowing an underage person in an alcohol-licensed premise. Also cited in the same incident and for the same offense was Mysty M. Trapp, 22, of 1314 Hamilton Ave., Janesville.


Meanwhile, Davis said police would continue to keep their eyes on the downtown bars, including Quotes.


“They’re kind of on our radar. Those numbers are starting to sneak up,” Davis said. “They’ve been working with us.”



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