Court revokes liquor license of 13 Bar after petition from neighbours

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Closed sign outside a bar entrance door.

A REAL NEWS SPECIAL REPORT:

Browne’s Avenue residents were able to sleep peacefully last night, October 6, the first time in a year, following a successful petition to the Court.

Residents had been enduring the blast of loud music from a nearby bar, as well as the vulgar conversations, cursing, and noise that came along with it.

After several letters of complaint were written to online news entities and many reports were made to the Police, one resident decided to circulate a petition among fellow villagers.

A group of 22 petitioners sent a document, along with the signed petition to the Court, challenging the continued operations of 13 Bar, which is owned and operated by 31-year-old Prince Phillip of Marble Hill.

Reports are that the petitioners attempted to have the matter heard weeks ago, during a sitting of the Liquor Licence Court at the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court.  However, it could not be dealt with at that time and was put on the docket for the sitting convened yesterday, October 6.

Having heard evidence from the petitioners, along with other residents who showed up for the matter, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh – who initially granted the bar’s liquor licence – revoked it.

Walsh made her decision on three grounds: that the proprietor misled the court in order to obtain the licence; the derogatory manner in which the residents who complained about the noise were treated; and the fact that a university student was robbed of valuable education time due to the noise and conduct that emanated from the establishment.

Walsh chided Phillip for being disingenuous to the Court, since, when applying for the licence, his application spoke to a superette and not a bar.

There are two licences for which business owners can apply, depending on the establishment they wish to open.  A Tavern Licence is granted specifically for bars, while a Bottle Licence would cover establishments such as superettes, supermarkets and shops.

Walsh says she would not have granted the licence for a bar since the location is in a residential area; however, the 13 Superette was subsequently transformed into the 13 Bar.

How Phillip and his patrons treated the residents was appalling, the Chief Magistrate said, as video and audio recordings presented to the Court captured customers cursing the homeowners in the foulest of language.

It was noted that Phillip thought he was above the law, since he reportedly told residents that he “had the Police in his pocket.”  And residents say they saw both uniformed and plain-clothes officers at the bar, some driving their official vehicles.

The residents told the court that, at one point, they were successful in getting the Police to come to the area and close the bar, since Phillip was unable to produce his liquor licence.

An elderly man said that the young businessman immediately got on his phone, saying that he was going to call a deputy commissioner, who, the Court heard, frequents the establishment, as well.

Following the phone call, the officers, having received certain instructions from the person who was on the phone with Phillip, then gave him permission to reopen the bar, the man said.

The university student testified that he was unable to do his studies online, after having to return home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  He says that, due to the time difference, he had classes at night; but he was unable to hear the lecturer on account of the conduct in the background.

Other residents gave testimony of how they had suffered, with one person who was in court for the proceedings describing their experiences as “living in pure hell.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. A few question, Ms Walch signed the Very application for a license. Granted the establishment a Tavern license, don’t you think because in the description it would state the nature of activities ? You saying you granted a tavern license to a Superette then took it back dwl.

    You didn’t even know the owner look at the info presented here smh

    No summons was issued to the young business man so how he ended up in court ?

    A petition is not a legal document so that hold no weight and give zero right to a magistrate to close a business.

    This here is a bunch of lies and sympathy votes NOThING TARL GO SO!

    Your bogus petition from one family who majority do not live it the area is going to come back to haunt you!

    7 households lost an income because of a personal vendetta. Well done 👏

    • So Mr.Edgar if you know this much I presume you’re a friend of the said business man and I also presume you weren’t at court with him to defend him or pass on this knowledge. So why are you speaking now after the fact that this business man bar was closed down. Question how do you in fact know that the petition was signed by majority of the family members especially those that you mentioned didn’t reside there, it’s seems to me that you too have personal runnings with the said business man. It’s really sad that jobs were lost but at the end of the day there’s a proper way of conducting business. We live, we learn nd strive to do better.

  2. There are two licences for which business owners can apply, depending on the establishment they wish to open.  A Tavern Licence is granted specifically for bars, while a Bottle Licence would cover establishments such as superettes, supermarkets and shops.

    SO BASED ON THIS STATEMENT SHE KNEW IT WAS A SUPRETTE AND GRANTED A TAVERN LICENSE…. WHO IS WRONG HERE ?

    Walsh says she would not have granted the licence for a bar since the location is in a residential area; however, the 13 Superette was subsequently transformed into the 13 Bar.

    WELL IF YOU WOULD NOT GRANT A LICENCE IN A RESIDENTIAL AREA KINDLY REVOKE THE LICENSE GRANTED TO ALL THE BARS IN JOHNSONS, THE ONE GRANTED TO HODGES BAY CLUB, THAT GRANTED TO THAT ON TINDALE ROAD, THAT GRANTED TO BAR ON KENTISH ROAD, THAT GRANTED TO BARS IN JENNINGS, THAT GRANTED TO THE BIG BAR DOWN AT POINTE AND SO MUCH MORE. WILLING TO READ THE SECTION OF THE LAW THAT PROVIDES FOR THIS.

    THEN POINT SHE REVOKED IT BECAUSE OF NOSE COMPLAINTS WHERE THERE EXIST NO EVIDENCE OR BREAKING THE NOISE POLLUTION ACT. THE ESTABLISHMENT DOES EVEN HAVE A SOUND SYSTEM.

    AND SO A UNIVERSITY STUDENT HEARING NOSE AROUND HIM IS REASON TO REVOKE A LIQUOR LICENCE.

    MAKE IT MAKE SENSE.

  3. Me dey a magistrate court yesterday and me a tell you the judge all tell the big man she go lock he up if he even open he food place … me see people no wa get license yesterday from them and get approve. The judge tell the people them call she if he open make she send police pan he and a food the man say he mostly sell. the man just cool and make them attack he hard . man document straight to me like she did a look excuse cause the man have everything. The man tell them he get one call the day before when he never even no a all that, he tell them he no even get time for find one lawyer. He tell she he tell one man he have to go court and the magistrate tell he wa he chat for a nobody business that he have to go court. Me a tell you a set them set up them man… them gwarn real bad with the yute and he just cool but me can see a plenty lie tell me a tell you that look like some body get pay. 22 people a nobody browns Avenue big no wa, set up dat like she have um out for he boss. She all tell the man get into one nother type a business look drama nf

    • 22 people is indeed a minimal amount but I believe these 22 people are those of close proximity to the bar. I wouldn’t say the anyone got paid, I believe the judge was just upset that he obtained the bar under a fraudulent act and was causing raucous to the neighbors. Maybe if he had given Mr. Edgar early notice, he could have defended him and perhaps he would have gotten off wt a stern warning rather than a closed bar.

      • How can it be fraudulent when a TAVERN licence was issued and not a Bottle LICENSE…. if it were a bottle licence and a bar was ran then the accusations of fraud would check out…. the Antiguan public have been heavily mislead in this matter….

        If you knew the proprietor or have ever visited the establishment you would realize that it’s deeper than noise. And many of the accusations are false and many details presented in this and related articles are exaggerated and not a true reflection of events. Time… time

  4. I’m happy for the court decision, but police officers shouldn’t allow bars to be open in residential areas especially where agable person are living… Some people don’t have any respect for the elderly..

  5. A bar in a residential area is too common to create a surprise. So are bodywork shops, mechanic shops, rum shops, machine shops and other noisy or real estate “devaluing” enterprises.
    The loud noise after a certain time has to be the issue. Such a time should have been established for Sunday to Thursday and a later time for Fridays and Saturdays.

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