Sophie Bolich

Bay View Bar and Restaurant Gets 15-Day Suspension

Little Cancun Sports will remain closed until Oct. 25.

By - Oct 12th, 2023 10:29 am
Little Cancun Sports. Photo taken Oct. 3, 2022 by Jeramey Jannene.

Little Cancun Sports. Photo taken Oct. 3, 2022 by Jeramey Jannene.

A Bay View sports bar and restaurant will remain closed until Oct. 25 following a 15-day suspension handed down by the City of Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Common Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to suspend Little Cancun Sports, 3040 S. Delaware Ave., based on testimony from neighbors who complained of excess noise and litter from the business and its patrons.

The suspension went into effect at midnight on Oct. 10.

Micah Oge, a neighbor, told the Licenses Committee that he observed a notable change in the business after the pandemic. The business, previously known as Little Cancun, closed in 2021 and reopened last October with a greater emphasis on sports.

“When we welcomed Little Cancun as a restaurant into our neighborhood a few years back — although it was just down the block from us — we really saw this as evidence of the vitality of the neighborhood that we had,” Oge told the Licenses Committee at a Sept. 26 hearing. “But as the pandemic affected many businesses, Little Cancun shifted their model to what is truly a bar, or what is recognizably a bar.”

He also cited concern over “safety issues” at the premises, including reckless and drunk driving, arguments between patrons, outdoor loitering and litter.

“It really has created quite a nuisance for us and our family,” he said. “The establishment has enabled and allowed this type of disruptive behavior.”

In total, four neighbors spoke in opposition of the business at the hearing. Most comments echoed Oge’s claims.

Licensee Veronica Cervera said that she doesn’t condone negative behaviors from her patrons and doesn’t want the incidents to reflect on the business.

Area Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic said she received an additional communication via email from a handful of neighbors in the days leading up to the hearing. As a result, a previously-filed license application requesting DJ services was withdrawn.

Cervera told the committee that she had been hosting DJs on the weekends, but wasn’t aware until recently that she needed a license to do so.

“I’m very disappointed to hear that,” Dimitrijevic responded. “I want to let you know on the record here that it’s really unfortunate. I know you’re trying to do the right thing, but you did the wrong thing for a long time.”

Dimitrijevic urged Cervera to rethink her business model, consider adding security and address a number of other concerns. “We need to see a change in behavior,” she said, before moving for a 10-day suspension.

In her closing statement, Cervera told the committee that she tries to make the right decisions and does her best to keep the area “presentable” by cleaning up litter. “All I can do is what is in my control,” she said.

In response, Alderman Jonathan Brostoff said that Cervera’s response did not align with the severity of neighbors’ testimonies. He moved for a 15-day suspension. The motion passed.

Cervera filed written objections and appeared before the full Common Council on Oct. 10.

“Anything that I can change, I will,” she said during her testimony, adding, “as far as the picture that was painted of my business, I have to defend myself 100 percent.”

She emphasized that neighbors’ complaints were of “isolated incidents” and said the testimony made her patrons out to be “a rowdy crowd.”

“I do respect the neighborhood and I do respect my community,” she said.

Cervera first opened Little Cancun in 2003 in Franklin and later added the Bay View location in 2019. Fallout from the pandemic prompted Cervera to close the Bay View bar and restaurant in April 2021 in order to focus on the original location, which remains open. The Bay View location reopened in October 2022.

Little Cancun Sports can reopen at midnight on Oct. 25

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Categories: Food & Drink

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