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Court Avenue Bar Owners At Risk Of Losing Liqour Licenses

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DES MOINES, Iowa - The Court Avenue Association is asking for all bars and restaurants in the area to pay up.

The association owes more than $10,000 to the city for hiring off-duty officers to help patrol the area from 10 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. during the summer months. At least two bars: Jokers and Barcadium have failed to make their contributions.

“We had an outstanding bill with the police department and they wanted it to be paid,” says Annie Baldwin.

Baldwin serves as the vice president of the association. She says bars are encouraged to chip in their share of the cost. What businesses owe is determined by their capacity level times $2.50. The association says the cooperative effort helps lessen the cost for individual businesses while keeping the whole area safe and appealing for patrons.

“It’s definitely a benefit to everybody that has a business down there and is invested in a business down there to make sure Court Avenue remains safe.”

At an August city council meeting, council member, Chris Hensley, did not renew the bar’s liquor license.

“My motion is that we continue those three items and not approve those licenses,” she says. “We need to get them to work with the police and work with the downtown partnership to pay for the police services that are rendered.”

The businesses that have failed to pay are on the agenda for the city’s upcoming council meeting.


  • Dan

    I would say it’s an on duty police officers job to patrol the area. It is part of the city. Why would the city be involved if it’s off duty officers? Why can’t they go to small claims court like everbody else if they are owed a bill? And what kind of racket is this association? This doesn’t sound like a good idea for the city to be involved at all. Every other town doesn’t do this and seem to get by.

  • Hugo S LaVia

    By all means, let’s — as many companies as possible — hire off-duty Dumb Moines cops, so then they can complain in the media about how overworked they are on the job, demand raises, etc. To say nothing of the mood they then bring to their civil job. Oh, wait, this has already happened. Never mind. – Emily Litella

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