The city of Riverside will consider contesting the liquor license renewal for Hank’s Hideout, as the owner prepares to open his establishment at a new location.
City Council earlier this month unanimously agreed to object to the permit renewal. A vote is expected on Thursday, which also is the deadline to file an objection with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.
City officials said concerns from residents who live near the new location on Burkhardt Road, as well as the number of police calls at the former location, are the main reasons for the objection.
“We’ve had a lot of community input that says they don’t want Hank’s back,” Councilman Mike Denning said. “We need to go through the process and put it before the liquor board.”
The former Hank’s Hideout at 643 Spinning Road burned down July 1, 2012, and was ruled an arson by the Division of the State Fire Marshal. The case is still open and the investigation is ongoing, according to Michael Duchesne, Ohio Department of Commerce spokesman.
Owner Greg 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.
Buchholz is hoping to open Hank’s Hideout, which he said is a “neighborhood tavern,” as soon as possible and said the city already has approved his occupancy and sign. He said he is in the process of getting his building permit approved by the county.
“I figured everything was a go,” Buchholz said. “I don’t know why they wouldn’t want me.”
The city has not objected to Hank’s liquor license in the past, City Manager Bryan Chodkowski said.
At a recent work session, 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).
At that same council meeting, several citizens voiced their concerns about the establishment being in close proximity to residential neighborhoods.
“The city should have denied everything from the beginning,” said Andy Holzinger, who lives on Marblehead Drive. “To me, they’ll be bad neighbors.”
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the state fire marshal at 800-589-2728.