West Michigan Bar Raided, Shut Down After Losing Liquor License

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SAND LAKE, Mich. (May 15, 2014)–A West Michigan bar shut down after losing its liquor license.

On Thursday, the Liquor Control Commission was seen removing bottles of alcohol from the Sand Bar in Sand Lake.

The decision to close the bar came Monday following a hearing with the LCC.

Documents obtained by FOX 17 show the bar owner was found liable for three violations within a year’s time. However, it lists several violations occurred since issuing the license in 2009. It includes selling to minors, allowing marijuana, gambling and an employee to be intoxicated.

The report reveals the intoxicated employee was bar owner Toni Bush. The LCC writes that Bush failed to cooperate with law enforcement by not letting them inspect the premises when the incident happened on July 6, 2013.

The LCC also issued eight “non-sufficient funds checks to the commission for purchases of spirits totaling $3, 238.45.” In addition, it issued seven violations for “allowing the sale of alcoholic liquor to intoxicated patrons; and allow intoxicated patrons to consume and loiter on the licensed premises.”

Denise Hawly, who owns Corner Hair Design & Spa, which is next door to the bar, said she’s sad to see another business go.

“I’m surprised that it’s going out of business; for a long time I thought it was just going to be temporarily,” Hawly said. “We would of course like to have some different owners, of course, come in to get these shops and bring some life back into our town because we love it here.”

After listing the violations, the LCC wrote, “The Commission finds that the licensee failed to demonstrate policies and procedures for prevention of selling to minors, and further finds that the Commission has no confidence that the licensee takes these matters seriously or would be able to prevent future violations.”

In another bullet point, it writes, “The Commission finds that the licensee has not demonstrated the ability or willingness to ensure control over the establishment and its employees, ensure compliance with the code and rules, and prevent future violations.”

Hawly said the town needs responsible business owners.

“That’s why we need people that are upstanding and want to run these businesses correctly so that we can draw people in and just thrive.”




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  • Gary

    A better, more well-rounded reporting would have included at least an attempt to contact the owner for his or her side of the story. Of course, the facts speak for them self. But if you're going to name the owner, include juicy bits about their arrest, and gather less than complimentary remarks from neighboring business owners, you should have at least added something about the owner not being available for comment…that is, unless you didn't bother to contact them…