Al fresco cocktails | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Al fresco cocktails

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2007 at 11:03 AM

I've been watching with interest a Downtown Neighborhood Association effort to combat the open air wine-tasting associated with the Warehouse Liquor outlet on Main Street. This is no "Sideways" ramble through Napa. A sometimes unsavory assortment of characters is known to do a bit of brown-bag imbibing in the vicinity after buying  hooch at Warehouse. They're not sipping merlot. Low-cost vodka pints are popular. The festivities include pan-handling, litter, public urination and and other side effects, including alleged crimes by some of these store patrons. I've witnessed some of these fellows myself while stopping at the store to inquire about directions to a nearby church.

The latest dispatch from the DNA indicates their complaints produced a whopping one-hour investigation by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, which found no problems within its jurisdiction.

Read the DNA report on the jump.

UPDATE: From "a mom":

I drive by Warehouse Liq. on my way home.  I usually work until 7 p.m..  There ARE customers of Warehouse drinking out of paper bags, sitting or standing in groups or drinking while walking towarddowntown.  Almost everyday!


LRPD missed two very popular drug transaction spots:  9th and Scott (busy every evening) and 17th and Main (late night on weekends is busy).


From Sec. Kathy Wells:

Warehouse Liquor store at 1007 S. Main St. operates in compliance with state alcohol-sales regulations, according to state officials. DNA asked for relief from the city.

Michael Langley, dir. of state ABC division, met with three downtown residents on Tues. and handed over copies of a Warehouse Liquor review conducted by his counterpart, Carl Kirkland of the ABC Enforcement Division. The conclusion was that ABC Enforcement found no basis for DNA complaint that the permit holder violated the "Good Neighbor" regulation of the agency, and so would do nothing further.

DNA then asked Mayor Stodola, City Mgr. Bruce Moore, City Atty. Tom Carpenter and Chief Stuart Thomas of the LRPD what city will do to abate this nuisance. This will be on agenda of public safety meeting with these officials at 4 p.m. Wed. May 16 at Curran Hall, 615 E. Capitol Ave.

Langley met with Kathy Wells, Sarah Smith and Kay Tatum. The appointment was obtained by Smith. Langley gave copies of the Kirkland review to the three, which concluded: "There seems to be no concrete evidence that the outlet is doing anything

Kirkland's conclusion rested upon a report from Michael Bush, Enforcement agent, who reported that he and another agent conducted surveillance for one hour on Mar. 28 - time of day unspecified. No violations of regulations were seen, he wrote. Further, he drove the area, and found "the outlet was not any worse or better than any other lot open to the public for business." He returned to the store April 4 and again found no unusual activity, the report said.

Bush reviewed LRPD incident reports on the liquor store provided by DNA, and
discounted them all. He concluded: "If the City of Little Rock believes this location to be a threat to the welfare and stability of it's citizens it should file a motion with the Pulaski County Circuit Court to begin an abatement hearing."

there was no mention of a security guard at work, nor any indication that Bush spoke with that guard, much less that Bush observed the guard at work, and how well that guard secured the lot to uphold public safety and ABC regulations. Smith noted she had visited with the guard, who told her that he worked three such jobs, including one at another outlet owned by the Singh family, owners of Warehouse Liquor.

Langley told the three that parking-lot crime or disorder could be the fault of passers-by, not patrons of the liquor store. Langley said more proof was needed to conclude that crimes against people here, or disorder, were the fault of the permit holder inside the building.

Langley said the agency handling of complaints followed this path:
* complaint from public is given to ABC Enforcement agents and investigated.
* if regulation violation is found by agent, this citation is given to Langley, who judges the case.
* if he finds a violation has occurred, Langley orders fine to be paid, suspension of the business for a period, etc.
* the permit holder may appeal the director's order to the full ABC Board at its monthly meeting.
* the permit hold may appeal the Board decision to circuit court.

Langley noted that Kirkland is employed by Richard Weiss, dir. of the Ark. Dept. of Finance and Admin., and he and Kirkland are equal in rank. Langley may ask for an investigation, as he did when the reports were handed him by DNA, but he cannot act further unless Enforcement officials find a valid complaint to pursue.

Langley also provided DNA with a copy of a May 24, 2006 memo from an Enforcement agent about complaints of neighbors against the nuisance activity at Warehouse Liquor, which discounted these.

Arkies say "Even a blind hog gets an acorn once in a while."

ABC Enforcements agents flunk that standard.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation