Janesville74.3°

City gives tavern 1-month window

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ANN MARIE AMES
May 5, 2010
— City of Janesville officials said they are through babysitting the bar at the corner of Milwaukee Street and Parker Drive.

The management of McstAggers, 121 E. Milwaukee St., has one month to prove it can reduce police calls to the bar. If it can’t, the Alcohol Licensing Advisory Committee could recommend the city council pull the bar’s liquor license.


The committee Tuesday requested bar managers Matt Ross of Edgerton and Alfredo De Los Monteros of Janesville talk to the committee about ongoing problems at the bar. The committee requested the two return in one month with concrete plans for improvement.


“Some kind of benchmarks would be appropriate,” committee Chairman Yuri Rashkin said. “And the only real benchmark is whether the police department feels they can work with you or not. Right now, the way it’s running is not working.”


The committee expects to see McstAggers change the reputation earned by Corvina’s, the bar previously operated in the same spot.


“I see some parallels that are supporting that reputation,” committee member Matt Schreier said. “We need to see something concrete that that’s going to change.”


Deputy Police Chief Dan Davis said the department is aware of 16 fights in or near the bar since Ross and De Los Monteros took over management in September. McstAggers staff reported only two of the fights, Davis said.


Davis on Tuesday said he had been “very, very close” to recommending the committee start the process of pulling the establishment’s liquor license.


The other serious violation was the April 15 arrest of former McstAggers DJ Michael J. Berg of Janesville on charges of delivering heroin and carrying a concealed weapon.


The weekend after the arrest, Berg still was working at the bar and “had the audacity” to try to kick out officers responding to a call, Davis said.


De Los Monteros said Berg no longer works at McstAggers. Berg was allowed to work for a few days after the arrest because the bar needed time to find a new DJ and Berg needed to work off a $600 bar tab, De Los Monteros said.


Ross said in the last two weeks he has turned up the lights inside the club and has personally spent time on the dance floor to talk with customers and keep an eye on the mood in the building to prevent fights and other offenses.


Davis said the number of calls has decreased in the last two weekends and that Ross and De Los Monteros cooperate with the department. However, employees have not shown the same level of cooperation, Davis said.


“Alfredo speaks the truth when he tells you he’s increased security and added staff,” Davis said. “The problem with that is the staff he’s hiring is compounding the problem.”


Ross and De Los Monteros operate the bar for owners Fred Shahlapour and Jaleh Dabiri, who hold the liquor license.



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