State suspends local bar’s liquor license
Tony’s Pizza and Stonewall’s Underground Pub has had its alcohol and liquor licenses suspended by the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration pending an ongoing investigation into last Wednesday’s stabbing of a Shepherdstown resident at the bar, according to a statement issued by Tony’s. The restaurant remains open and is still able to serve food.
A portion of the statement read “this unfortunate incident was an isolated and unforeseen criminal act, to which the employees of Tony’s responded in the appropriately trained manner. The temporary suspension is to insure that retaliatory action is not taken by individuals involved in the altercation.”
Late in the evening on Wednesday, Jan. 21, a fight broke out in Tony’s, which resulted in the non-fatal stabbing of Shepherdstown resident Kyle Wilson.
Gig Robinson, spokesman for the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, would not comment on the investigation until an “agreed orders” document, which sets the conditions by which an establishment may re-obtain a suspended alcohol or liquor license, is issued to the establishment.
A review of police activity logs filed over the last year reveals that local law enforcement agencies responded to Tony’s 42 times in 2009, including nine fights, and a separate five instances when police logs noted that crowds leaving Tony’s were causing disturbances at 7-Eleven or Sheetz convenience stores.
The overwhelming majority of documented police activity at Tony’s occurred on Wednesday nights and early Thursday mornings as patrons depart Tony’s popular weekly College Night dance party. At last Thursday’s municipal Police Committee meeting Shepherdstown Police Sgt. David Ransom noted that the Monday Karaoke Night crowd is just as large as the typical Wednesday night crowd, but they rarely have any problems on that night.
According to Robinson, fighting is one of several “lewd and lascivious” behaviors which can prompt ABCA administrative action against an establishment with a liquor license.
“We have over 5,000 licenses split between on and off premise establishments. If people can’t [go to a bar] in an environment that is safe, then we have an issue,” said Robinson in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon.