Here are our recommendations to address issues at Beer Bellyz. Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.
Date: September 2, 2011
To: Mayor Brede and Members of the City Council
From: Sergeant Mike Sadauskis, Community Action Team
Subject: Status Update on Beer Bellyz Bar and Grill
As directed by the Council at the August 22, 2011 Committee Of the Whole meeting, the Community Action Team met with the proprietor of Beer Bellyz Bar and Grill during the evening of August 31, 2011. The purpose of the meeting was to have discussions with the owner, Steve Lee, on how he could take steps to improve the safety in his establishment. The meeting lasted approximately one hour, and many future steps were agreed upon by both sides. Mr. Lee was the initiator for many of these suggestions. Upon completion of the meeting, the following steps were agreed upon to be completed by Mr. Lee. Most of these steps are expected to be completed within sixty days from our meeting, and the remaining by the end of the year.
Mr. Lee stated that he will begin using bracelets at the door(s) for customers. The bracelet will signify that the patron’s identification has been checked and is of legal age. There will be five different color bracelets, and they will be rotated randomly for each night of the week.
Mr. Lee stated he will increase his security staff to four members by 10 pm on each of his three busiest nights; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Mr. Lee stated he will place an alarm activated exit bar on the west door of his business. Once installed, this door will be closed on his three busiest nights of the week, and on those days used only as an exit. This will restrict access to the bar to a single point on the three busiest nights, increasing control and security of whomever comes and goes from the bar. Along with this he would have a gate at the rear patio area that would only allow egress and not access.
Mr. Lee stated he will install one more security camera on the interior, and one on the patio, to improve the recording capability of the surveillance system he has in the bar, along with doubling the archival time that the recordings can be saved. He will also investigate using a new computer aided employee time clock system as a means to view video at the establishment, thereby easing the ability to view and retrieve video.
Mr. Lee stated he will also post no smoking signs on the exterior front of the business, and require all patrons to smoke on the back (north) outside patio. Along with this he will make improvements to the low wattage lighting on the patio to increase visibility.
Mr. Lee stated he would move picnic tables used for volleyball players to a location at the back of the bar but not close to the building. Where they now sit invites people to move outside the established and permissible drinking area with glass bottles.
Mr. Lee stated he would instruct his staff to better monitor the DJ music, including bass, and ensure it was at acceptable levels to nearby neighbors.
Mr. Lee said he would reinitiate a policy for his staff that would require that any time an incident concerning customer or staff safety occurred in the bar or on the premises, a form would need to be completed by staff giving the details of the incident and location at the bar property where the incident occurred. This would further aid in the retrieval of video evidence if needed.
Mr. Lee also agreed to instruct his security staff to not get in a physical altercation with problem patrons unless they are doing so to protect the immediate safety of other patrons or staff. If they wish to trespass a patron and the patron refuses to leave, the staff will contact the police to remove the individual rather than staff getting into a physical altercation.
Mr. Lee reiterated he is still interested in participating in the SAFEBARs program. We advised Mr. Lee that this program is currently under revision and that one of the future requirements is that all participating establishments would agree to direct staff to have all patrons who appear to be under the age of 35 have their identification checked before being served. Mr. Lee said he would be willing to comply with this requirement. We advised him that once the SAFEBARs had been formally changed, which we hope to have implemented by the end of the year, we would contact him for his participation.
By Mr. Lee agreeing to these many changes we envision an environment whereby on key nights of the week four staff members would be on duty, and all patrons would have to enter and exit the business at the front door. Once there, door staff would check identification for all people appearing to be under the age of 35, and issued a colored wristband. We further envision that all patrons who wished to smoke would be directed out the back door to the patio area, thus controlling security at the front door area and decreasing the likelihood of bottles in the parking area. As part of this, if a patron left out the front door with a wristband, the person’s identification would have to be rechecked upon trying to reenter the bar.
We believe that if the steps listed here are implemented, it will significantly improve the safety of Beer Bellyz while still allowing for Mr. Lee’s business to be viable and monetarily sound.