The Long Beach Police Department has recommended denial of the live entertainment permit to Panama Joe's restaurant and bar, calling "ongoing" problems of excessive alcohol sales, DUIs and other arrests a burden on the department and Belmont Shore neighborhood.
The application to renew its live entertainment permit by the popular business at the corner of Second Street and Granada comes before the Long Beach City Council Tuesday. A public hearing is scheduled to go second at the 5 p.m. meeting. (See attached pdf).
In support of its position, the police department's 31-page report and enumeration of crime statistics and service calls to the Belmont Shore establishment - or to incidents linked to its patrons - is remarkable for its detail and public opposition. The state ABC director of the regional Lakewood/Long Beach office, Vincent Craven, told Patch last week that Long Beach police are "unusual" in almost never taking a position for or against an alcohol sales license permit.
(Last week, for instance, the department's recommendation to the Long Beach City Council for new restaurant Shabu Shabu's ABC license application was to "review and file" its reporeted findings. They included three legal grounds for denying the beer and wine license--high crime, over-concentration of alcohol sales and residents in close proximity--although the City Council voted 8-0 to greenlight the application.)
Critically, the report finds:
"On February 29, 2012, the Police Department recommended DENIAL of the
application for an Entertainment with Dancing Permit, by Panama Joe's Inc., dba
Panama Joe's Cafe, located at 5100 East 2nd Street. This denial
recommendation was based on a review of calls-for-service, incident reports, and arrests for the time period between December 14, 2009, and December 14,
"The Police Department also evaluated calls-for-service, incident reports, and
arrests for the time period between December 14, 2011, and May 31,2012. This
additional evaluation was done to determine if Panama Joe's had made any
improvements that would mitigate the high number of alcohol related arrests, and incidents, determined to be attributable to the business. After concluding this evaluation, the Police Department determined that alcohol related incidents and arrests remained constant and continued to be an ongoing problem, taxing Police Department resources, while negatively impacting the surrounding Community.
Based on this comprehensive evaluation, the Police Department recommends
DENIAL of this application for an Entertainment with Dancing Permit, by Panama
Joe's Inc., dba Panama Joe's Cafe, located at 5100 East 2nd Street."
We hope to hear from owners of Panama Joe's, who have met at the department's request atleast five times over several months in an attempt to reduce concerns and problems.
In the staff report to the City Council, East Division Commander Michael Beckman of the patrol division recommends against the live entertainment permit, which does not pertain to the ongoing operation of food and drink at Panama Joe's, just music and dancing.
You can read the report yourself in the attached pdf. The agenda and staff reports for Tuesday's Council meeting are not yet final.