As the Spring Lake Park City Council wrapped up business for the year, it decided the fate of four liquor establishments.
Monte’s Bar, Nicklow’s Cafe and Bar, Biff’s Billards Sports Bar and Povlitzki’s on 65 all had their liquor licenses renewed unanimously Dec. 17, but with conditions.
Monte’s was the only bar that had a complete application and taxes paid in full. No conditions were set for its renewal.
Despite one-on-one conversations with the Nicklow’s owner Bill Nicklow, all of the necessary application information has not been turned in and the business is two years behind on its property taxes, said City Administrator Barb Nelson.
In the past, the restaurant has been behind in taxes, but it was paid by the end of the year, Nelson said she is not sure it can pay for the $42,407 two years.
Last year, Nicklow gave her a gentlemen’s promise that the taxes would be paid by the end of 2011, Nelson said.
There was a check written but not honored last year, said City Attorney Jeff Carson.
While the council approved the renewal of the license, it was on the condition that the taxes will have to be paid in full and all of the required paperwork is done.
Biff’s Billards Sports Bar was also approved on the condition that all back taxes of $33,186 are paid.
Povlitzki’s on 65 came close to losing its license.
This year the police department has been called to the business 68 times, not including December, said Police Chief Doug Ebeltoft.
In 2011, there were only 23 calls to the bar, he said.
“Some of the calls are minor, but the number of calls is troublesome,” Ebeltoft said.
The calls have been for assaults, accidents, disturbing the peace, welfare checks, property damage, theft, ordinance complaints, warrant arrests, public intoxication and medical calls.
Most of those calls were coming in Thursday night/early Friday morning.
Ebeltoft said he has concerns about the type of clientele the bar is bringing in as well as the motorcycle clubs that are coming in.
While the police department and Richard Povlitzki, the owner, have had a good working relationship, there has been come serious communications issues this year, Ebeltoft said.
The business was co-run this year by Povlitzki’s brother Brad, who once ran Pov’s in Andover, he said.
Richard had taken the year off to care for their mother, who died in July, said Ebeltoft.
According to Ebeltoft’s Dec. 12 memo to the council, Brad Povlitzki had started a ladies night on Thursday nights to increase business.
Motorcycle clubs, including the Hells Angels and Themadones, were holding club-sponsored events at the bar, as well as selling their memorabilia at what was supposed to be a Tower Days event, he said.
While the Parks and Recreation Department promoted the two-day street dance as a Tower Days event, the bar’s website promoted it as Pov-a-Palooza with no affiliation with Tower days, Ebeltoft said.
In the end, it looked like “…a city sponsored event for the Hells Angel’s Motorcycle Club and other motorcycle clubs the Hells Angels invited,” he said.
Povlitzki’s also failed to provide the required port-a-potties, Ebeltoft said.
People were urinating in public and ticketed for doing so by the officers at the event, he said.
The port-a-potties were ordered but not delivered and they could not get any on site because it was a busy graduation and party weekend, Richard Povlitzki said.
The building has a capacity of 600 people and only 200 people were there for the street dances, he said.
There were no lines for the bathrooms inside, Povlitzki said.
According to Ebeltoft’s July 23 letter to the Povlitzki’s, they also did not take out the required permit for the two-day event or have the required inspection done.
Although Ebeltoft sent Povlitzki’s a letter stating his concerns, no response was received.
It is disheartening because in the years he has been here there has been a good working relationship with Povlitzki’s, Ebeltoft said.
“There now seems to be an indifference to city codes,” he said.
Since hand delivering his Dec. 12 memo, communication has started, Ebeltoft said.
This has not been an good year for him and it was not his intent to ignore the letter, Povlitzki said.
His mother died days before the July letter arrived and he did not return to work for a month, he said.
The business also has a outstanding tax bill of $46,856, said Nelson.
Nelson wanted to know how Povlitzki plans on turning his business around.
The Thursday Ladies Night special featured hip hop music, which brought in a different crowd than it used to and the event was overseen by an outside manager because of his mother’s health, Povlitzki said.
The special got carried away, he said.
They tried a new dress code and things started to get better by August, according to Povlitzki.
The calls in November were limited to property damage related to accidents in the parking lot and a medical response, Povlitzki said.
While the motorcycle clubs have been using the bar for 20 years and have been law-abiding, Povlitzki said he is willing to drop the motorcycle events to keep his license as well as ladies night.
Povlitzki’s has been here for 27 years and it has had a good working relationship with the city, Povlitzki said.
They were trying different events to bring in more business because all of the businesses are struggling in this economy where people have less disposal income, he said.
“A lot of things that snowballed,” Povlitzki said.
“The behavior has to change,” said Councilmember Dale Dahl.
The business is only as good as its leaders, said Councilmember Barbara Carlson.
If the issues continue, the council could revoke the license, said Carson.
Things will be changing next year, Povlitzki said.
Getting rid of the hip hop night will make a difference and his brother will be retiring from the business now that the city of Andover has approved the sale of the Pov’s site to Walmart, he said.
They have money to pay for the taxes, Povlitzki said.
“You will be watched,” said Councilmember Jeannie Mason.
Tammy Sakry is at firstname.lastname@example.org