Outlaw Denied Re-Alcohol License – Iowa State Daily

The Ames City Council voted to deny Outlaws a liquor license renewal after the bar failed two compliance checks, had 15 on-site summonses and testimony from a former employee for allowing underage entry and selling them alcohol on Tuesday night.


Ames Police Chief Geoff Huff suggested the council refuse to renew the liquor license after police amassed significant evidence, including allowing underage people into the bar. Last year, Ames PD issued 15 subpoenas for underage individuals to the bar association, including some allegedly admitted by employees. Michael Schwab, a former bar employee, said the staff worked together to let minors in, which Huff found troubling.

“I’ve never seen staff conspire to let minors in in my career, and I’ve been doing it for 28 years,” Huff said. “It’s hard for me to recommend anything other than no renewal when staff are actively working against the system to keep underage people out of the bar.”

Schwab provided the council with screenshots of messages and social media posts, including a post from former manager Kasey Walters, which said, “No minors will be allowed in unless asked.”

“These events are not outliers. The only outlier is that someone came forward and got caught,” Schwab said. “I had managers who told me to let everyone in before 11am and then when I refused, I was put in after 11pm.”

Schwab claimed license holder Andrew White had been aware of the situation since February and ignored him until he threatened to go to the city council. White said he was alerted to an isolated incident that was resolved and was unaware of a widespread issue at the time.

“I would agree [the Chief] that I haven’t seen lyrics like this in my 30+ years either,” White said. “I have no excuses, I have no explanation – I was taken aback by what I saw.”

Several council members found a problem with White’s unawareness of the situation. They articulated that since Outlaws is not a new company learning how to operate, they could not take the situation lightly.

“They should know better how to run a facility after 18 years,” said Division 2 representative Tim Gartin.

While White claims that the past year’s issues have been addressed, Huff countered that the last failed compliance check was on October 20 and Outlaws have received numerous on-site subpoenas over the past year.

“I understand wanting a second chance and admitting your mistakes [but] To me, it’s a matter of fairness in the spirits license that we denied last time,” said At-Large Rep. Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen.

Ultimately, the council didn’t give them that chance and voted 5-1 to deny the extension request, with At-Large Rep. Amber Corrieri having the lone vote against.

“I have a hard time justifying the fact that we just renewed a spirits license last week, a 12-month license, for someone with 15 citations in the last 12 months,” Corrieri said.

According to Ames Police Chief Huff, outlaws can first appeal the decision to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and operate as usual until the appeal is resolved. If the appeal fails, outlaws cannot sell alcohol for a year or until a new licensee applies for and is granted a new alcohol license.

“If I look at it, at the last council meeting, the facility passed its compliance check, and that facility failed twice,” said Rachel Junck, Division 4 representative. “So if we were to give a second chance, it would be the second compliance check , which simply failed.”

Despite the council’s actions on Tuesday, Outlaws has already been ordered to a 30-day suspension and a $1,500 fine for failing two compliance checks in two years.

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The city council unanimously approved updates to the suburban plan, which city officials believe will serve the city’s key interests. Several opponents of the plan spoke at the meeting, including Kim Christiansen of Ames, who wants the plan to be a win-win.

“Many of these owners have lived on these properties before Steve [Schainker] was the city manager,” said Christiansen. “We admirably call that BS, before Steve. These people are not happy about having their property rights taken away from them.”

He suggested the council ignore any type of sub-plan because the only other sub-plan in the state doesn’t look like the proposed plan.

“There’s just no way to handle the growth of Ames just with increasing density,” Gartin said.

The council vote will return the plan to the Story County board of directors, and the council will receive an update from them in December.

The Council also unanimously approved several measures, including completing the Resource Enhancement and Conservation Grant Agreement, removing standards for rooftop solar energy systems for residential, commercial and industrial properties, and conducting public hearings on water and wastewater revenue credits and disbursement agreements .

In addition, the council unanimously rejected a proposal for the Baker Subdivision Low-Income Residential Buildings Tax Credit for multi-family housing development. They also instructed staff to draft in December to seek development proposals for the project in January 2023 for either a 4% or 9% tax credit.

In relation to a response to West Towne’s application for residential use, the council decided to allow the applicant to request a text change to allow single storey housing units and open all 325 housing units to Section 8 vouchers by a vote of 5-1 . Gartin disagreed, citing the unusual nature and inconsistency of the Consideration with the Section 8 case.

Editor’s Note: This article misspelled Michael Schwab’s name and has since been updated to reflect the correction. It has also been updated since publication to correctly reflect Allen’s quote: “No minors will be admitted unless asked to do so.” The Daily regrets these errors.