The city of Riverside’s attempt to prevent a renewal of Hank’s Hideout liquor license continues at a hearing later this month.
The Ohio Division of Liquor Control has scheduled a hearing between the city and Hank’s Hideout for 10 a.m. June 19 at the Montgomery County Administration Building, room 1002.
Owner Greg Buchholz has been preparing to open Hank’s Hideout at a new location but city officials said concerns from residents who live near the new location on Burkhardt Road, coupled with the number of police calls at the former location, led them to object to the license renewal.
“We objected to it because the community came to us and asked us to object it,” Councilman Mike Denning said. “We’re hoping that will have some impact with the liquor control board. I believe it will.”
Buchholz declined to comment on the scheduled hearing, but previously said he hoped to open Hank’s Hideout as soon as possible and that the city already had approved the occupancy and sign.
Matt Mullins, spokesman for the Division of Liquor Control, said it normally takes one to two weeks before a decision is made, and it can be appealed to the Liquor Control Commission. The hearing is open to the public.
The former Hank’s Hideout at 643 Spinning Road burned down July 1, 2012, and was ruled an arson by the Division of State Fire Marshal.
Buchholz has been renovating the new location, a 1,600-square-foot space at 5526 Burkhardt Road, which is at the east end of a shopping center that also is home to Kroger. At recent council meetings, citizens have voiced their concerns about the establishment being in close proximity to residential neighborhoods.
At a work session in April, Police Chief Mark Reiss presented council with data relating to calls for service at local liquor establishments from March 1, 2012, through April 11 of this year.
Christy Club had 97 total calls, followed by Hank’s with 70. Excluding service calls for permit holder checks and alarms, Hank’s was fourth with 38, including loud music (12) and disorderly (6).
Reiss said that the numbers for Hank’s Hideout probably would have been higher if it hadn’t burned down.
“It’s one of the bars where we tend to get an inordinate amount of calls for loud music and fights,” Reiss said. “We have to be sensitive to the fact that there are a significant amount of people from the neighborhood complaining about the renewal. Those complaints are not unfounded, and we can’t ignore that either.”
The city has not objected to Hank’s liquor license in the past.
“It’s very difficult to get a place shut down,” Denning said. “If their license isn’t taken away, at least Hank’s Hideout is on notice that we’re going to keep an eye on them and they need to stay within the rules. Hopefully they’ll be able to prove to the community they’re not going to be the wild, crazy place that it was before.”