City allows bar to stay open, but adds requirements after shooting

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The city of Champaign is allowing a pair of bars in one building to stay open after a shooting outside the business last month. However, bar ownership will have to implement several potentially costly safety measures to stay in the city’s good graces.

The city Tuesday released a mitigation document to our newsroom related to Clark Bar and Glow Bar, both in the same building at 207 West Clark Street. A fight inside Glow Bar followed by a shooting outside the bar – but off bar property – on December 26 led city officials to hold a “major incident review.” That ended in a laundry list of requirements for the bar, including:

  • Scanning the ID of all customers who come into Glow Bar
  • Adding a body camera to at least one security guard at Glow Bar, with the employee positioned at the entrance to the bar
  • Adding a monitor at the entrance to Glow Bar showing real-time surveillance footage of the area
  • Clark Bar and Glow Bar must close immediately and stay closed until the next business day after any major incident that requires police to respond
  • And in general, the mitigation document said the bars must cooperate with the city and its police department, including turning over security video, scans of IDs, and promptly reporting changes in hours.

In a separate document, mayor and city liquor commissioner Deb Feinen said any running afoul of these new requirements would mean a liquor license violation. That could mean a fine, or the bar could have its liquor license suspended or revoked permanently.

Deputy liquor commissioner Matt Roeschley told our newsroom a major incident review by itself would not mean a liquor license suspension. He said these new mitigations were “not an agreement” with the bars, but he said bar ownership did suggest some of the things that made it into the final list. “The mitigation is meant to address security issues,” Roeschley said.

Roeschley also noted it’s sometimes difficult to work within the city’s liquor code and still hold bars accountable for incidents that are tied to the business but don’t happen directly at the business.

Bar ownership told us they’re already doing some of the thing the city is asking, including using an ID scanner and a body camera for security. Ownership also said the bar has security cameras, and a license plate reader is being installed this week. Those readers are technology several cities in our area are using or talking about using to prevent crime.

In October of last year, Feinen suspended Clark Bar and Glow Bar’s liquor licenses after several 911 calls to the business over a few months. However, bar ownership within days came up with an agreement to get their licenses reinstated.

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