DABC pulls Monkey Bar’s liquor license | ParkRecord.com

DABC pulls Monkey Bar’s liquor license

ANNA BLOOMOf the Record staff Night owls might have guessed as much: the Utah Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission's (DABC) recent revocation of the Monkey Bar's liquor license marks the second time in less than a year the commission has pulled the Main

DABC presiding officer Earl Dorius says the revocation took effect at 1 a.m. on Jan. 31, following the violation of a previous settlement agreement regarding the stage area and the dancers’ attire on stage.

The commission order was issued to the club on Jan. 27 and included a $4,286.53 fine.

According to Dorius, the commission denied the Monkey Bar owner Gregg Davison’s application to hold onto the club’s liquor license.

To regain his license, Davison filed a complaint at Summit County’s Third District Court on Feb. 1 petitioning for a review of the final agency action and for a stay of agency order.

Until there is a date set for a hearing, however, as far as Dorius is concerned, the club’s status "is that the license has been revoked."

The revocation is arguably the most severe penalty issued to the Monkey Bar by the commission, and is emblematic of the Monkey Bar’s volatile relationship with the DABC since it first applied for a state liquor license nearly three years ago.

In fall of 2004, The Park Record reported that the DABC brought six counts against the Monkey Bar, including allegations that the bar allowed simulated sexual intercourse on three different occasions. The Park City Police Department detailed the violations in a 20-page report following a month-long investigation during which officers allege they paid for lap dances from dancers at the bar.

At the time, Davison said that the dancers were not employed by the Monkey Bar, but instead signed up for performance times and kept their tips. They did not perform nude, he added.

In April of the following year, the DABC suspended the Monkey Bar’s liquor license for 32 days as part of a settlement agreement regarding "sexy dancing at the nightclub" and fined the club $1,540.40, according to court documents filed by Davison. The club’s liquor license was renewed in June.

The 2005 settlement agreement stipulated that the club needed the state’s approval of the stage area in order to ensure the dancers were separated from patrons, and in order to allow any dancing at the club, Dorius says.

Despite the fact that the stage was never approved by the state, however, the club resumed dancing in the stage area, and on occasion, dancers performed wearing even less clothing than Dorius remembers before the settlement agreement.

"They were using body paint," Dorius said, noting that before the settlement, at least dancers had clothing on — "minimal clothing," he admits, "but nevertheless, clothing."

The February complaint filed by Davison counters that DABC officials have candidly admitted to subjecting the Monkey Bar to "different and unique treatment than any other similarly situated individuals." He says the commission gave the Monkey Bar two alternatives: to change the elevation of the floor, which he claims is physically impossible and financially "ruinous," since it would mean the loss of 30 percent of customer seating area; or change the club’s entertainment to something the commission found "more amenable."

In August and again in September, Davison claims he submitted two separate applications for stage approval, both of which were rejected by the commission.

As for the painted dancers, Davison’s petition argues that it is purely a "semantic argument" and that the term "paint" is an unfortunate misnomer, since the material covers the dancers’ bodies just like any other opaque material like Spandex, cloth and leather.

Furthermore, Davison charges in his petition that the DABC’s regulations imposed were "not open and notorious, but rather concocted in an ad hoc manner [in] August 2005 and applied ex post facto to the March ‘Settlement Agreement.’"

According to Dorius, the Monkey Bar has been closed since the revocation went into effect.

Davison’s lawyer, Scott York, and Davison himself declined to comment on the pending litigation of the Monkey Bar’s petition.

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