Council Suspends McGillycuddy’s For 10 Days
Council committee acts after citing concerns over lax security, noise complaints at bar.
The council unanimously approved a 10-day suspension Tuesday morning, following a Licenses Committee hearing where nearby residents expressed distress at late-night noise levels and disturbances at the bar, located at 1135 N. Water St.
Goedart added that his principal concern is McGillycuddy’s outdoor speakers, which he said are responsible for the worst of the noise. He said he patronizes the bar on occasion and has noticed that the indoor music is kept at a similar level to other bars.
During the summer, the bar played music on the outdoor patio, which was covered by a tent. Owner Drew Deuster said he is taking steps to reduce the noise by building an enclosed pavilion in place of the tent. Construction is expected to start this fall.
The council also raised concerns over a two-item police report, which Alderman Bob Bauman called “highly disturbing.”
The incident occurred just two weeks after a May 17 shooting that injured 17 on Water Street, one block south of McGillycuddy’s.
Bauman initially called for a suspension of at least 30 days. “At least in this case, there was essentially zero security in place to prevent firearms from coming onto the premises,” he said. “I find it inexcusable. You complain about the city not doing enough, of everybody else not being responsible, but you can’t even do basic security for your premises.”
Following the firearm incident, Deuster said he purchased metal detector wands, but only uses them during busy times. The bar has also implemented pat-downs, bag searches and additional security, and is in the process of installing a new camera system, according to Deuster.
Duester said the issues McGillycuddy’s is facing are the result of a “shift in culture downtown.” He went on to skewer city officials, who he said are not stepping up to help businesses during unprecedented times.
Duester expressed similar sentiments at his earlier hearing before the Licenses Committee. “For 15 years of doing business Downtown, we haven’t seen that issue before,” he said.
“I disagree,” Ald. Bauman replied. “There were issues last year. Guns on Water Street did not just happen in the summer of 2022.”
No council members objected to the suspension, which will take effect immediately following the current license’s expiration at the end of the month.
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