Problems With Former Foxy's Location Revival Sparks Talk of Changes to System

New bar proposed for the downtown area has the city considering its options regarding alcohol licenses.

A recent request for licenses for a new bar in the former Foxy's location has the city of Port Washington considering changes to its ordinances.

The common council has tabled action on license approvals for Deville’s Lounge while considering its right to refuse issuing a new retail alcohol license to the bar, and potentially adopting further licensing requirements for bars, based on recommendations of city officials.

When the issue of licenses for Deville's was brought up at a recent council meeting, Ald. Paul Neumyer said he would like to see the city ordinances revisited because they may need to be strengthened.

"That is something we would be giving priority to, looking at the whole process," City Administrator Mark Grams said.

The city may deny retail alcohol beverage licenses as long as it's not done arbitrarily, City Attorney Eric Eberhardt said. Furthermore, the council should carefully consider what conditions or limitations it attaches to a new retail alcohol license when the license is issued.

Eberhardt suggested that the city may wish to consider adopting a licensing arrangement like that of Green Bay. Green Bay requires that applicants submit a business plan that details who will operate the business, how it will operate internally and externally and the impact it may have on the community and police services.

In his report to the city about the new licenses, Police Chief Kevin Hingiss encouraged the city to consider more restrictions on bars to help the police department when issues arise at local bars.

"Looking to the future, I would like to see more restrictions on licensed premises," he said in the report.

Hingiss detailed suggestions he said would help the police mitigate or eliminate many issues/concerns associated with licenses premises, plus assist the PWPD in investigating and resolving law enforcement issues including "disorderly conduct/battery to public urination and underage drinking."

  • Related: New Start at Former Foxy’s Location Encounters Snags
  • Moving on: Foxy's Closes as Owner Takes His Chances in Vegas

Hingiss' suggestions were to:

  • Require a ratio between alcohol/beer sales and food sales, which would lead to a lesser chance of intoxicated patrons;
  • Have the establishment provide a specific "smoking area" for its patrons which would eliminate cigarette litter on the street or others' property;
  • And require a digital security imaging system to monitor exterior and interior spaces and would help law enforcement in criminal investigations and prosecutions;e also suggested that the establishments be required to maintain the security imaging system in good working order and make video be available to the city for public safety purposes.

The police and city are hoping to forestall problems that they say the city experienced with Foxy's.

Between 2004 and September 2012, the bar was a source of "recurrent calls" for police services for activities inside and outside the bar including disorderly conduct (fighting, public urination, profane language), battery, theft, damage to property, underage drinking or underage people on the premises, noise complaints and resisting or obstructing officers, Eberhardt said.

A sample of police calls to Foxy’s highlighted in Hingiss' report included the following from 2012:

  • Bar staff called police to report that a man they had kicked out for being unruly had come back. The man was cited for disorderly conduct.
  • People leaving the bar were warned for being noisy. One man was cited after police had to warn him a second time.
  • Officers on patrol heard a possible fight in progress and witnessed a large number of people leaving. Investigation led to citations being issued for underage drinking and underage people on the premises. One person was arrested for an outstanding warrant.
  • Bar staff reported a patron with a fake identification. Two citations were issued for underage alcohol consumption and misrepresentation of age by an underage person.
  • A noise complaint was called in. The police officer watched the tavern for 30 minutes and observed no citable violations although there was an increase in noise level due to the volume of customers. Bar security staff were warned to monitor their guests better.

As part of the current approval process, the building inspector and fire chief inspect the property and the police do a background check on the applicants. The common council has tabled action on license approvals for Deville’s Lounge until all inspections and reports have been completed.

Terry November 30, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Lol. Nice Greg. I always went with Professor Plumb. He always seemed a bit shifty to me. If you are unaware, Dave has some sort of issue with the Port Police. He never misses a chance to slam them for something, even if he has to make it up to do it. I don't know what they did to him, but it must have been good.
Greg November 30, 2012 at 03:47 AM
I have never had a problem with the Port Washington police, but I have talked to people that are not in their fan club. I'd guess you would find that in most communities. Plumb it is.
Christian Zaja December 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Hi. I am Christian Zaja. I am 39 years old with two children, a wife and a home in this community. I have bartended for 8 years in this town, in several establishments. Since my name is being slung through the mud by everyone, I just wanted to share some things with you all. 1. I was never any type of manager or had anything to do with any decision making at the former Foxys. I was merely an employee. 2 I am not a "owner", partner or any such with Deville's. My name is not on any license application, lease or the LLC. 3. Yes I have an owi almost 7 years ago and my other ticket is for being in a licensed establishment after hours. I am a licensed bartender who happened to work at that establishment.. Hmmm? well anyways I paid my fine and it was a municipal ticket. Hardly a hardened criminal record 4 Due to all this finger pointing at me I am no longer associated with Deville's Lounge. 5 We did/do have a busness plan. 6 We went to Chief, building inspector and al parties concerned prior to the 1st meeting of the licensing. Building inspection has nothing to do with license approval only to do with building safety prior to opening and actually these issues are all the same issues that have been pending for several years and not addressed by the city. If Foxy's was such a "bad" place and building has not been in code for several years, then why was the licensed renewed on July 1st?
Christian Zaja December 07, 2012 at 10:05 PM
My intention was as Troy's still is to not only change the inside look and feel but to change the "reputation" of the prior establishments and were implenting several steps to do so... I could actually go on and on. The bottom line is none of the above information or actually any information posted in the paper (whether you choose to believe or not) have absolutely nothing to do with approving the liquor license. I wish all the best to Andy in Vegas. I also wish Troy all the best with his business venture. I would also like to thank Mr Mark Grams and Chief Hingiss for all the slander, misinformation, tainting of my familys' name and the cost of my job and feeding and taking care of my family. And grammar police fire away :) I'm a lil too upset to care at this point. And to concerned citizen....most of your bartenders/owners/managers oh and everyday people have an owi and a municipal ticket
Lyssa Beyer December 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
The fate of Deville's Lounge will be discussed in a public session on Tuesday http://patch.com/A-0sL1


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