Editorial: Bar fight brewing

Conflicts between nightclubs and neighbors are nothing new, and complaints about two Ashland bars have been going on for some time. For the moment, it appears the police have the situation under control, and it’s unlikely anything will change in the near future. Bob Kendrick, who owns two seasonal condos across the Will Dodge Way alley from the entrance to the Vinyl Club and the back door of O’Ryan’s Irish Pub, says patrons smoke, vomit, fight and generally make noise late at night. Police Tighe O’Meara has told the City Council his department is working with the owners of both clubs to address issues, and frequently patrols the alley to prevent problems. But, O’Meara noted, the conflicts will never disappear entirely as long as the clubs exist. The city attorney told the council the city cannot revoke a liquor license on its own. What it can do is ask the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to do so, but that is a lengthy process, and if a business is sold while the case is proceeding, the new owner starts with a clean slate. For reference, the OLCC canceled only three licenses in Portland over a two-year period in a city with 2,900 licensed establishments. It’s also hard to take Kendrick’s complaints seriously when he says he plans to open two bars of his own in a building he owns next door to O’Ryan’s and the Vinyl Club. If two bars are a problem, two more aren’t likely improve the situation.

Update: On Wednesday, Kendrick said he plans to lease space in his building qt 145 E. Main St. to a restaurant with a full-service bar. The building next door to that, at 141 E. Main St., also has an application on file for a full-service bar, but Kendrick said he is not affiliated with it.

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