Chasers tavern hit with record fine

2013-10-02T17:54:00Z Chasers tavern hit with record fineBy Rachel Wells | rwells@pantagraph.com pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — A downtown tavern received what Mayor Tari Renner said was the city’s largest-ever fine for a Bloomington liquor establishment.

The Bloomington Liquor Commission on Wednesday ordered Chasers, 110 W. Washington St., to pay a total of $14,000 in fines for admitting and serving alcohol to 26 underage patrons on May 3 and six underage patrons on April 26.

Renner said the fine amount was “unprecedented” and signaled that the City Council and liquor commission are “committed to revitalizing downtown Bloomington” and believe “we need to get control of the situation downtown.”

In the sanctions agreed to by Chasers, the liquor commission also required Chasers to install a camera system that would check identification cards and take photographs of them alongside each patron.

City attorney George Boyle said the camera system was requested by the Bloomington Police Department.

He said Chasers had argued that underage patrons used fake IDs to gain entrance into the bar but there was no other information available to determine that. The camera would solve that problem in the future, he said.

The camera must be installed by Nov. 15, and Chasers can deduct $2,500 of the cost from the fine amount due to the city.

“My client intends to be a good operator and on the whole has been a good operator. The camera can be effective in preventing and a good source of documentation in the future,” said Robert Lenz, an attorney for Chasers owner Ron Nurceski.

The bar’s liquor license also will be suspended for two days, from 2 a.m. on Nov. 29 until 2 a.m. on Dec. 1, and all employees must complete a Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education Training (BASSET) course by the end of the year.

Since the violations, Chasers has discharged the door staff in place at the time of the violation.

According to the agreed order, Chasers also violated liquor rules in June 2010 by allowing in and serving alcohol to two underage patrons. Before that, its last violation had been in May 2005.

When sanctioning liquor establishments, the liquor commission generally looks at the violation history over the previous three years.

The sanctions approved Wednesday are up for review on Jan. 14, 2014.

Copyright 2015 pantagraph.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(12) Comments

  1. NauticalWheeler
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    NauticalWheeler - November 05, 2013 8:06 pm
    Good job Bloomington!! That place is a disgusting hole anyway.
  2. Erik
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    Erik - October 07, 2013 5:25 pm
    True. It's Monday and still no article. I learned from WMBD. I get newspapers are having lean times but missing this story is ridiculous.
  3. Schleswig-Holstein
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    Schleswig-Holstein - October 07, 2013 8:49 am
    Excuse me. Is the Pantagraph asleep at the wheel ? I had to find out about this weekends downtown Bloomingtons bar violence through another news source.
  4. jster
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    jster - October 04, 2013 6:57 am
    So just to get this straight -- you are FOR letting large numbers of underage drinkers drink in this establishment in violation of the law? You also view Bloomington police officers as "Stormtroopers?" Wow. Better check your meds! Reality. Try it -- you might like it!
  5. Accordingly1
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    Accordingly1 - October 03, 2013 12:16 pm
    People actually go there? Terrible drink specials......always a cover.....pass
  6. moderndaycowboy
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    moderndaycowboy - October 03, 2013 11:56 am
    You're using the term "tavern" quite loosely here....
  7. middlefinger
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    middlefinger - October 03, 2013 11:51 am
    Good fine. I hope this will teach Chasers to clean up their act.
  8. Schleswig-Holstein
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    Schleswig-Holstein - October 03, 2013 10:41 am
    I believe Sams Club has a similar camera system. With storm troopers located at the entrance and exit doors.
  9. wise 1
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    wise 1 - October 03, 2013 10:37 am
    If you can fight a war at 18 you should be able to have a beer .Just be responsible.
  10. NormalNews
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    NormalNews - October 03, 2013 10:05 am
    Bloomington Police Department requests that they "install a camera system that would check identification cards and take photographs of them alongside each patron." Big Brother... is that you knocking on the door? When will the stormtroopers be assigned to each corner "to get control of the situation downtown" as per Renner's request? Sounds like Rahm Emmanual... "never let a crisis go to waste"... for political gain and more governmental control.
  11. BigBrother
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    BigBrother - October 03, 2013 9:31 am
    Try the greek house
  12. peni1234
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    peni1234 - October 03, 2013 8:33 am
    so that's why the students liked that place so much. some one else will pick up where chaser's left off.
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