Troubled Club Adiktion refused liquor license

Staff writer

BELOIT — A renewed attempt by a troubled nightlife venue in Beloit to get back a liquor license failed at Tuesday’s Alcohol Beverage License Control Committee meeting.

Club Adiktion, which had its license suspended in 2013 and revoked in 2015, had applied for a liquor license earlier this month. The venue had applied for an earlier license in December of last year. Faced with strong public pushback, led by the Beloit Police Department, the application was removed from consideration.

Tuesday’s vote to deny the application was unanimous.

At the hearing Tuesday Police Chief David Zibolski referenced multiple violent incidents the department had responded to while the club had been open. The venue closed shortly after a shooting where, in July 2015, three people were wounded in a parking lot near the venue at 1310 Cranston Road. The shooting prompted an additional altercation and led to another shooting in Rockford, according to police testimony.

Nineteen of 20 residences and businesses in the area of the club told police giving the license would harm the community’s well being, a statement echoed by committee members Tuesday

“Past practice carries a lot of weight,” said member Jerome Jennings. “The fact is, the past practice is not too good. We are not sure that the past practice is going to change.”

Legal counsel for the city contested the newest application, noting the persons listed on the application were still the same owners from when the business was last opened.

Committee members also took issue with a plan the business said was in place to put an inexperienced, unemployed and previously affiliated person with the club to be listed as the club’s manager.

Zibolski referenced over 70 incidents where police were called to intervene or mediate disputes at the business. Police testimony also claimed alcohol was sold to minors on multiple occasions, after official complaints were filed with the department. In May 2015, officers arrested an individual for underage drinking, according to city records.

After previous inspections in 2015, it was found the club had hired security firms to handle crowd control that did not have proper operating licenses for Wisconsin.

Club representatives said, if the application had been approved, they had plans in place to hire new bar staff to oversee inventory; hire a licensed security firm from Milwaukee to oversee crowd control and host private parties.