What warrants a liquor license getting suspended in Fargo

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Fargo’s Police Chief David Zibolski read off a long list of incidents against the Africa Restaurant and Nightclub involving murder, underage drinking, and gun possession on the premises, during Tuesday’s Liquor Control Board meeting.

“We have seen a continual increase in calls in violence, especially gun violence,” he said. “I have significant concerns about public safety if this establishment continues to operate under its current management and scheme.”

Chief Zibolski says the continuing need for police at this establishment has exhausted department resources.

Officers responded to the nightclub twelve times in a two-month timespan.

Zibolski believes the excessive use of alcohol in the establishment is causing much concern.

“People are continuing to over-consume and they continue to get into fights and disturbances,” he said.

Some may question, what warrants a business having its liquor license suspended in the city of Fargo?

According to Commissioner Tony Gehrig, new guidelines were put in place within the last couple of years including the use of a sliding scale for offense severity and repeat violations are based on a rolling six-month period.

Gehrig says those guidelines aren’t hard-pressed.

“We have never pulled a license for bad behavior. I think that is not good. There are plenty of bars we can look at,” he said. “I think we are not doing our job. I think we need to be far more strict with the people who already have licenses.”

Gehrig believes there should be a continuous review process for bar and restaurant owners who already have licenses to evaluate possible misconduct.

In this case, it will be up to Gehrig and the rest of the commission to decide.

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