Samy's Party Bar may need to change its name after being stripped of its live entertainment and extra hours permits and being fined $1,000 for the slew of liquor code violations it's accumulated over the last year.
Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante revoked the two permits after the liquor commission ordered the dance club/sports bar at 3151 Voyager Lane closed for seven days for not telling the police about an on-site fight, Deputy Liquor Commissioner Jim Murphy said.
The closure was from Sept. 28 to Oct. 5, Murphy said. The bar owner goes before the commission again Thursday morning for yet another unreported battery case, he said.
As the city's liquor commissioner, Giarrante has the authority to pull all special permits awarded to a liquor license holder at his discretion. In this case, it was punishment for the accumulated infractions that have occurred at the bar, which is located across from the Louis Joliet Mall, Murphy said.
Those violations included locking or padlocking exit doors, exceeding the maximum occupancy limit, failing to post the occupant load sign near the main exit, and not reporting numerous cases of battery and disorderly conduct inside the bar and in the parking lot, he said.
As a result of the mayor's decision, Samy's will no longer be allowed to have live music, be it a band or a DJ, and is mandated to close midnight Sunday, 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The permit had allowed them to extend their closing time by an hour.
Murphy said every time a violation is discovered or reported, a Joliet police detective conducts an investigation in which witnesses are interviewed and on-site visits conducted to determine its validity. It's a process that can take weeks, and each case triggers a hearing, he said.
"In any jurisdiction, a liquor license is a privilege," Murphy said. "Permits are given at the discretion of the mayor, not the liquor commission, and can be taken away at his discretion. (His decision) cannot be appealed to the state."
Murphy added that bar owners mistakenly think it's smarter not to call the police when there's a fight at their business in order to avoid bad publicity, but the penalties are worse if they're cited by the city and penalized by the liquor commission.