Deano's Bar Liquor License Renewal

I receive notices of liquor license renewals from the Seattle Police Department. Their January 2004 bulletin notes the following:

Licensee: Darnell and Helen Partnership

Business name and address: Deano's Cafe & Lounge, 2030 E. Madison Street, Seattle, WA 98122

License numbe: 355415

Privileges: SPIRITS/BR/WN REST LOUNGE +

The license expires on 3/31/04. The Police request feedback by 2/20/04.

Please send comments to:

Captain Gregory Ayco, Commander

S.P.D. Vice Unit #781

610 Fifth Avenue,

Seattle WA 98104-2305

I asked Assistant Seattle City Attorney Edward J. McKenna about the renewal and he wrote:

I had a meeting with Darnell Parker and Ms. Helen about 2 weeks ago to discuss the Good Neighbor Agreement and any other issues. We went through the contract step-by-step and it was my impression that they were in compliance. The only area of clarification was the calling of 911. Darnell was hesitant to call 911 on every potential problem because of fear that the calls would be used against his license. I assured him that we would not use calls made by the establishment against his license which seemed to be a relief to him. I made it clear however, that we would use the failure to call 911 against his license though. He understood and stated he would now call more often. Although unsavory characters continue to hang around the area, the City has no basis at this time to object to the renewal.

Edward J. McKenna

edward.mckenna@seattle.gov

Correspondence about the renewal

Hi Mr. McKenna,
I would like to strongly post an objection of granting Deano's a renewal of their liquor license. I live right on the other side of
Planned Parenthood, which is directly south of Deano's. Though I do not know all the particulars of the previous history, but I do know what I have seen and experienced in the last three years. I have stood on my porch and watched the activity at Deano's during this time.

I have seen and heard incredibly aggravating, annoying and disruptive activity going on right in front of Deano's doorway. This disturbance continues to this day. If Deano's were compliant of the "Good Neighbor" agreement, the screaming and noise in general, would at least seem to be under control. It is not. Deano's continues to be a focal point of drug activity, prostitution and gang activity at this "very minute." I know because it often overflows into our neighborhood from morning and into the wee hours of the morning. In the "Good Neighbor" agreement, it is their prime directive to operate their business in such a manner to foster or improve "public safety, security and quiet enjoyment of the
surrounding community." This is not happening. This is evidenced by complaints voiced by neighbors in the area, continued shootings, and loitering in front of the establishment that goes on nearly 24 hours a day. Hope can you in good conscious think they are compliant? Why do you think the neighbors of Deano's have petitioned the City Council and East Precinct Police Captain for action??

In my opinion, one of the most important points of the "Good Neighbor" agreement is for Deano's to immediately notify the SPD about any "known, observed or suspected criminal activity." If you matched up the 911 calls from the neighbors in the immediate surroundings and look at the log of calls Deano's made to the SPD, there would be a great discrepancy. This is a violation of the "Good Neighbor" agreement. What Darnell said is a lame excuse. It is not acceptable for him to
state he was afraid that the calls to the SPD would be used against him. By calling the SPD, it would show Deano's support and compliance of the agreement which they signed. By the simple act of calling the SPD, the shootings, disturbances, drug activity and prostitution would be reduced and we would have..."quiet enjoyment of the surrounding community." In my opinion, by NOT calling the SPD, Deano's is NOT compliant and should NOT have their liquor license renewed.

Sincerely,

John Chaisson



I hear and understand your concerns. Unfortunately, the Liquor Control Board rules do not attribute accountability to a licensee for the behavior or activity off of his premises. Although we have some off-premises control in the agreement, it's doubtful the LCB would decline to renew the license based on off-premises activity. Basically, once issued, the license is considered a property right which entitles the licensee to due process. Without specific evidence of examples violations of the law or the agreement, the Board simply won't decline to renew a license. I invite you to review the Miller Park website for the history of Deano's and our prior efforts at non-renewal.

That said, anyone is free to lodge their objections against any liquor establishment with the Board. Objections can be sent to:

Lorraine Lee, Director
Washington State Liquor Control Board
3000 Pacific Avenue S.E.
Olympia, Washington 98504-3075

Edward J. McKenna
Assistant Seattle City Attorney
edward.mckenna@seattle.gov


(details of last year's Good Neighbor Agreement with Deano's Bar)

Transfer of Deano's liquor license

Assistant City Attorney Ed McKenna reports:

1) An issues was raised at the meeting last night regarding whether the liquor license had already been granted for Deano's. I checked with the Liquor Board today regarding the status of the license. They indicate Mr. Parker and Ms. Coleman were granted a 60 day temporary liquor license because of the pending assumption of the existing license.

2) Mr Parker and Ms. Coleman have now signed the GNA. We ended up negotiating only a couple of minor points from the version posted on the web. Those changes include modifying the time in 1.B from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and changing #18 to read "... will make reasonable efforts to attend regularly scheduled meetings..." I would like to get your signature on Monday if possible.

Text of Good Neighbor Agreement signed by Darnell Parker and Helen Coleman

Seattle Times article about Miss Helen's Soul Food restaurant (now in Deano's)

Neighborhood responses to a draft of the Good Neighbor agreement

Reports (from those present) on the April1 MPNA meeting with Darnell Parker

Update on license renewal, 3/21/03

Deano's Bar and Grill Liquor License renewed

Letter from Assistant City Attorney

Background info about the renewal of Deano's liquor license

A neighbor's point of view

Another neighbor's viewpoint

Another (very different) point of view

Letter sent by MPNA in June 2002

Since writng the above letter I heard from a Liquor Control Board Officer who seems to disagree with the Assistant City Attorney.

MPNA Position Paper on Madison Street Issues, 9/10/02


Deano's Bar and Grill Liquor License Update, 3/21/03

According to the agreement reached between the current owner(s) of Deano's Cafe and Lounge and the Liquor Control Board, the business is to have been either sold or closed within six months of the agreement (December). A prospective purchaser had come forward and had applied for assumption of the liquor license. The City filed an objection to the prospective purchaser based upon a number of factors including inexperience as well as the suspicious nature of the business transaction.

Faced with the unlikelihood of approval, a new prospective purchaser has submitted an application to assume the existing liquor license. Darnel Parker is the current manager of Deano's. Mr. Parker has offered to meet with both the City and the community to discuss concerns and his plans for changing the environment of Deano's. City officials will schedule a meeting with Mr. Parker once copies of application documents are obtained. Members of the Miller Park community may wish to take advantage of Mr. Parker's offer to discuss community concerns.

(Assistant City Attorney) Edward McKenna <Edward.McKenna@Seattle.Gov>



Deano's Bar and Grill Liquor License renewed

(1/03) Pursuant to your request, here's the current status of Deano's:

As you recall, there were several administrative violations pending against the licensee(s) of this establishment. In addition, the City had filed an objection to the renewal of the liquor license, based primarily upon the same administrative violations, and for reasons of public safety.

Subsequently, the licensee reached a compromise (settlement) with the Liquor Board whereby the licensee and the Board agreed to the following:
- pay a $2,500 fine
- "... discontinue all license privileges and forfeit the license at the location within six (6) months ..."
- not seek replication at this location
- sell the business within 90 days
- file a "buyer's liquor license application" within 60 days
- the compromise will not " ... affect the City of Seattle's request for non-renewal"
- Gene McNaughton will no longer take part in the operation of Deano's
- "Current licensee will continue to work closely with the LCB and the community to help alleviate community concerns"

The City, not being a party to the action, had no input on this settlement.

Subsequently, the City recently received a brief letter from the Liquor Board stating " After careful consideration the Board intends to approve the renewal for Deano's Cafe & Lounge. The Board based their decision on the Compromise Disposition reached on the pending violations."

Although the City has the opportunity to request a hearing on the license renewal, the granting of a hearing is discretionary on the part of the Board. Considering the Board's position on the compromise of the administrative violations and the short time remaining for the current licensee, it is unlikely a hearing would be granted.

Meanwhile, an application has been submitted to the Board to assume the existing license from the current licensee, pursuant to the compromise. The new applicants are GJM Inc., and Gloria Mordeaux. At this time, the
City has not decided on a position. The Seattle Police Department has requested a meeting with Ms. Mordeaux and an official position may be made shortly thereafter.

Please feel free to contact me if you wish additional information.

Edward McKenna <Edward.McKenna@Seattle.Gov>


Letter from Assistant City Attorney

Dear Community Member:

Thank you for your concern and willingness to become actively involved.

While we are hoping to avoid a public hearing on Deano's liquor license renewal, I would like to be prepared well in advance. As such, I am gathering letters and statements supporting the non-renewal.

Briefly, here's what we need: first, a letter to the Liquor Board requesting they not renew the license. The letter should include specific facts including observations of illegal activity including those observed in the parking area. The letter should indicate how the establishment has impacted the community as well as your personal security concerns. Mention the community groups you belong to and any efforts made to transform the neighborhood. If you have walked the alley, discuss your experience. Include any contacts with the establishment or their management.

If a public hearing becomes necessary, we will need individuals willing to address the Board. If you are willing to do so, please let me know. There is always the possibility of media attention and I will need to know if you would be willing to discuss your concerns with them.

Please address your letter to the Washington State Liquor Control Board and send them to me at the address below. I will compile the letters and submit them as a package.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached at 684-4375 or 684-7765.

Edward McKenna
Assistant City Attorney/East Precinct Liaison
Seattle Police Department
CPT Room
1519 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122


Background info about the renewal of Deano's liquor license

The Seattle Police Department has objected to the renewal of Deano's liquor license. The basis for the objection are many, and they include on-going criminal activity on the premises, failure to supervise employees, drug dealing on the premises, overservice of alcohol, exposure of the neighborhood to repeated acts of violence, and violating the liquor license by incurring numerous administrative violations. Those violations include he failure to disclose the true party of interest, misrepresenting material facts, allowing disorderly conduct, and overservice of alcohol.

There are two separate procedures taking place to stop the sale of liquor at Deano's . The Attorney Generals office is handling the administrative action which, if proven, will result in the suspension or revocation of the license. The City's objection to the renewal is a separate matter, which, if proven will result in the non-renewal of the license. The Liquor Board has the option of simply renewing or not renewing the license. The effected parties may then request a public hearing before the Board to present testimony and evidence in favor of their position. Evidence to the Board includes letters of persons impacted by the establishment and live testimony, which is most persuasive. If the administrative procedure results in the revocation of the license, there will be no need for a public hearing.

I hope this clarifies the situation. If I can provide anything else, please let me know.

Ed McKenna


A neighbor's point of view

 

...Hey ya'all. There's yet another storm brewing in the 'hood. Real quick
like, here's the story: The Attorney Generals office AND the City
Attorney's office are going to object to the liquor license renewal for
"Deano's Nightclub and Lounge", which, to me translates into some very
positive change for the neighborhood, in that they might be able to shut
that nightmare down. If you've had the opportunity to travel down Madison
in the wee hours, say, 1:30 or so, then you can clearly see that the
all-night/every-night throngs that are meandering around the sidewalks and
streets are largely coming outta Deano's Club. They're not in front of the
Twilight OR Oscars, and what it's about is that the Deano's Nightclub &
Lounge has a responsibility to NOT negatively impact the neighborhood with
it's patronage, which in the total absence of security staff or door people,
they fail to do. Honestly, I think we all can agree on the single point
that if they kept more to themselves, IE, IN the joint, not all over the
neighborhood, then we'd all pretty much not care or worry about it. I,
personally, don't care what goes on in "Other People's Houses" (Or in this
case, Businesses) since it's not my concern. BUT, when those activities
spill into my lawn or harrass me when I'm walking or driving to my house,
then it's just not cool. And, if Deano's can't take care of thier own, and
they clearly can't/won't do so, then they shouldn't be here any more.

So, here's my newest of requests: If you would please write a letter to the
city c/o City Attorney's Office: "Edward McKenna"
<Edward.McKenna@Seattle.Gov> saying you've seen/experienced the lack of
responsibility Deano's NightClub & Lounge takes for it's clientel, the
resulting damage, and that, we're tired of it. Or scared of it. Or
whatever, I wouldn't speak for any of ya'all, but I would appreciate your
speaking to to city about it via letters...Please?

As per usual, any support's appreciated and with any kind of luck, Peace can
reign over this neighborhood, someday.


3/20/03

I have many first hand experiences of being harassed whilst making my way to the Twilight (great place); cat-called, someone offered to sell me some cigarettes with acid on them. When I declined, he offered to sell me weed. I have seen drug dealing so obvious that it wouldn't pass the muster of an after-school special. Not the least, the skankiest of what appears to be cheap prostitutes.