City pulls bar business license after continued police response

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WYOMING, Mich. -- A Wyoming bar's business license was suspended this week over concerns of frequent disorderly conduct and violence.

Cocktailz Bar and Grill, located at 1001 Chicago Drive, had its doors closed Wednesday by the city of Wyoming on a recommendation from police.

Captain Kim Koster says they've been dealing with frequent over-crowding and violence for the past few years.

"At this point we feel before somebody gets hurt, a patron or somebody in the community gets hurt, it's time for us to really call attention to a significant problem we're seeing here," said Koster. "We have met with the owner and management, we've given them constructive ideas on how to improve security, how to make it a safe place."

President of WYGR 94.9 F.M., Robert Womack has promoted events for Cocktailz Bar, and disagrees with police, saying that the events they promote had run smoothly at the bar this past month, with no violence or problems at all.

"It's been peaceful every time we've been there," Womack said.

But Koster says that wasn't the case last weekend.

"Last weekend we had another incident where so many people were in the parking lots overflowing into the neighborhood parking lots of other businesses and disorder behavior," Koster told FOX 17 News. "It took us several officers to get the situation in control."

FOX 17 reached out to the owner of Cocktailz Bar, but have yet to get a response back.

The Wyoming City Council has the bar and its future on its agenda this upcoming Monday, where a decision on their business license will be made.

"Anytime any business in West Michigan or Grand Rapids closes and you have entrepreneurs who are trying to do something positive to have a dream I think it's sad no matter what business it is," said Womack.

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  • Fern Willis

    The City of GR needs to wake up and take a lesson from Wyoming on this. There is no shortage of bars in GR, and no shortage of responsible people who would like to run bars responsibly but can not because there is a limited number of licenses. GR can afford to be a lot more strict when it comes to the enforcement of the laws designed to insure the peaceful and safe operation of bars. A LOT more strict. (I am looking at you, Gilmore.)

    Now that GR has national attention as “Beer City”, it would be smart to take advantage of that by maximizing the positive experience potential of craft beer tourists. You don’t do that by allowing places that have repeated police intervention requirements to stay in business. You don’t do that by allowing places with repeated LCC violations to stay in business. You do that by weeding out the problem owners (no matter how well connected they are) and giving the licenses to people who are willing to make the most of them…for themselves as well as for the community.

    This is a positive step for Wyoming, and I applaud it heartily. It goes a long way toward setting a tone for the rest of the bars in the community, and lets them know that they better keep control of their businesses and what goes on at them, they better meet the high community standards, or they will suffer the same fate.

  • Tom Thumb

    mr. Womack is sadly misinformed. I live close to cocktails bar and all of the problems mentioned in the article are very real.I think that mr. Womack Madewell be taking into consideration personal feelings rather than Stark reality. kudos to the city of Wyoming for jerking the tag of this pestilence

  • Robert S Womack (@WYGR_FM)

    Thank you for your comments. I understand and respect everyone’s comments. I must say that I stand by my statement that last week there was not a violent incident. The police are lying. They did not restore order and if they did who did they arrest or ticket that was disorderly. They came at the end of a party and asked very nicely how many people were there. They then began to talk to the manger about things that happened last year and nicely left. I was shocked that the news showed up. The officer on the news clip said they found a gun on a person in the parking lot. Well did they arrest the people last week? No because they are lying. They have not broken up a fight or found a gun or responded to a gun shot at cocktails bar in 2016. I am putting this in writing. All I said is that since I arrived I have not seen a fight or any violence. The police never questioned anyone about a fight or a shooting Friday. They did say “it looks like 400 peope were here tonight”. The manager told them we shut the doors once we hit capacity. This conversation I witnessed outside between Wyoming and Cocktails bar staff was peaceful with no yelling or high emotion. The Wyoming police don’t have to square off with me because our techniques for addressing situations are different. I would arrest criminals not bar owners and peaceful patrons. It is sad to see them respond to my opinion so harshly. If Fox news could pull the arrest records for that address in 2016 they will see I am telling the truth. They have not had a violent incident since I have arrived. Now three people have died at the B.O.B. and they didn’t shut them down forever within 24 hours. You explain to me what the difference is. Then explain to me WHAT JUSTICE IS? Is Justice just a concept or something given to the poor and middle class as judgment and the rich as a reward? I have nothing against the Wyoming police I never said anything bad about them in the news clip. It is erroneous to call a man a liar for telling what he saw and didn’t see during his four times at a venue. I want the police to produce evidence I saw a fight or a gun last Friday. They are comfortable telling bold face lies on T.V. because people won’t question a badge or a blue uniform. They are police so they never lie. Well my bible says all men have fallen short except one. One of the bloggers said I might be “misinformed” that is more responsible language then calling a man a liar. I expect more out of the Wyoming police than the general public when it comes to labeling people. I will be putting in a request for all police records involving Cocktails bar in 2016. I will attach it to this news clip. I don’t have anything to do with this. I was just asked a question and gave my opinion. I have the right to my opion..