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City council zeros in on Eleven Bar once more


This news story was published on July 25, 2015.
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Brent Trout, once again in the face of a small business owner he disagrees with.

Brent Trout, once again in the face of a small business owner he disagrees with.

MASON CITY – The hits keep coming for Eleven Bar and owner George Barlas, as the city blames him and his business for every issue in or near his establishment and looks to deny him a liquor license.

Citing altercations and incidents they claim took place in the bar, outside the bar, or near the bar by alleged patrons that violate the city’s “nuisance code”, city administrator Brent Trout has deemed Eleven Bar a “disorderly premises” and again is recommending the city council deny a liquor license, which would likely crush the bar and the adjoining Chop restaurant. He claims 19 calls for service within the last 12 months.

Mr. Barlas – who started his business with no handouts from the city, no micro-enterprise freebies and didn’t beg the taxpayers for a nickel to open his doors – claims police officers converge on his business on weekends and park outside, watching his customers enter and leave, until they see trouble. A sizable proportion of the clientele are African American, and the music is loud, but that’s never been cited as an issue. He said police do enter the bar somewhat frequently. They have found some wanted individuals on some excursions and made arrests then and at other times when they see issues arise.

Trout’s announcement of this council agenda item comes on the heels of a scathing article in the Sunday Globe Gazette, written by council propaganda artist John Skipper with an accompanying video interview of Mr. Barlas created by competing bar owner and Globe employee Arian Schuessler.  Mr. Barlas said the story was like a “punch to the gut” and the headline was like a slap in the face to him.  He had just been under the gun at the last council meeting when this item was on the agenda, but it was pulled when the mayor and council cowed to public pressure and put it off two weeks.

Chop and Eleven in downtown Mason City

Chop and Eleven in downtown Mason City

Meanwhile, some citizens are concerned that while a number of police cars – sometimes 2- 4 cars – are parked in one general vicinity (the public lot across the street and on Delaware Avenue), crime runs rampant throughout the sprawling areas of Mason City and folks are being cheated by fewer patrols, less visibility of officers, and crooks have a greater chance of getting away with their crimes.

One Mason City citizen said “My car was broken into, and my son’s bike was stolen on two separate occasions and locations last week. The crooks will steal anything not bolted-down. I just wish my taxes covered the ‘serve and protect’ part for me and my neighbors, too, not just folks city hall seems to be out to get.”

At the same time, landlords are beginning to examine the nuisance code, and one prominent property owner told NIT last week that the nuisance code would “never hold up in court”.   He also said that Mason City doesn’t need the nuisance law, it needs more cops on the streets conducting patrols and being visible.

The council will look at the issue Tuesday night at its regular meeting.

City council to once again zero in on Eleven Bar at next week's council meeting; Brent Trout advises council to deny…

Posted by NorthIowaToday.com on Friday, July 24, 2015

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26 Responses to City council zeros in on Eleven Bar once more

  1. my real name Reply Report comment

    July 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    If the owners just refused to let the D boys and the Chicago boys in, would they even have any other customers? Everyone knows these people are here to peddle drugs, so why can’t they just refuse service to them?

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      July 28, 2015 at 7:48 am

      @Real Name-yes, they would have other customers. I have seen several bars that went out of business because they let the thugs take over. Then the decent people won’t go there and they are the ones who buy food and spend more money.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 26, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Here is my prediction…. the resolution fails to get enough support on city council and the dirty cops, Klemas, Logan Wenert and the spinless police chief have better learn that the GREEK community will not forgot this anytime soon As for Bookmeyer keep up the witch hunt

    • Reality Check Reply Report comment

      July 28, 2015 at 8:44 am

      The Greek community that once was is gone forever. They have been reduced to an aging bunch of old ladies who can barely make enough baklava for the Greek Fest. Once upon a time they had power, prestige and made tremendous contributions to NI and reaped handsome profits from their efforts. The “D Bozy” won this battle, years ago the Greeks would have kicked their a$$.

  3. south of the border Reply Report comment

    July 26, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Nobody here thinks they are above the law. This would never hold up in court. The “D” boys are doing their thing and no one is stopping them, no one. If you cut the head off the snake it usually dies. Just sent a few of these guys away for 20 or more years and the rest will leave town. Not here, the police would rather shut down a local merchant than to go after the “D” boys.

    • Detroit Rock City Reply Report comment

      July 27, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Good point, if the D boys are the majority of police calls. Are they? If landlords are making money from them as tenants it makes sense that the city won’t bother the Federal section 8 money flowing in.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 26, 2015 at 11:39 am

    The owner may not have handled this as well as he could have, but he’s also had the kind of family tragedy most of us can’t even imagine, not that long ago. Bet he still can’t think straight, and probably won’t be able to for some time, if ever. Does the city have to pile on, too? The lowlifes causing the trouble will just find another place to wreck, and then the city will try to close that one. Zero in on the troublemakers themselves, and get them out of town. If they keep getting arrested here, they’ll leave soon enough.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 26, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I don’t think this has anything to do with disorderly premises. Maybe since Schuessler is involved it has something to do with his business and competition.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 26, 2015 at 11:50 am

      There is zero chance that Eleven and Mason City Brewing are competing for the same customers.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        July 26, 2015 at 12:50 pm

        I would find it real strange if they were competing. There might be a little carry over, but not much.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Well I don’t know what else it could be. There are many trouble some places in mc why pick on this one bar? There’s more to this

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        July 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm

        @Anonymous-If I had to guess I would say it probably because it is in their pet downtown area and does not fit the image they want. Hard to attract tourist or other visitors when you have a bunch of thugs fighting in the streets and parking lots.

      • Barney Fife Reply Report comment

        July 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        Name one, just one bar that has had more police visits, arrests, unpaid fines, warnings from the city to clean the place up, unresponsive to negotiations with the city to remedy the situation. The city is doing its job with patience and impartiality. Eleven needs to go the way of Alley Katz.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 26, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Granted, I’ve never been to Eleven. But it’s a trendy bar for younger folks. If some people can’t behave start banning them one by one! I would hate for Mason City to lose a hangout spot so contemporary. Not everyone wants to drink at a tavern bar.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 26, 2015 at 8:48 am

      I haven’t been there after 8 pm. It is a great place. I wonder how much it would hurt their business (Chop) if they closed at 11 pm?

    • Reality Check Reply Report comment

      July 26, 2015 at 5:18 pm

      Trendy bar for young folks? Give us a break.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      July 26, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      @Anonymous-It is a trendy bar for drug pushers and drug users with thugs and criminals right there with them. It is basically a sh##hole and is no different than the Alley Katz.

      • carlo Reply Report comment

        July 27, 2015 at 12:00 am

        You cant just assume they are selling drugs, Maybe you look like a pedifile., But your not one..

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          July 27, 2015 at 8:05 am

          @carlo-Get real. You must live in LaLa land or else you are one of them.

  7. Aunt Bea Reply Report comment

    July 25, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    The city council was spanked and embarrassed by the district court recently on their ill fated decision to condem and demolish Phil’s property. I bet they learned their lesson the hard way. This time around they will have all their ducks in order and Eleven will soon be history. Then where will the gang bangers go to play?

  8. Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    July 25, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    IF I remember correctly….. should the city revoke Elevens license, Barlas can always appeal the revocation to the state. Remember, the State of Iowa is in the liquor business.

    • Polio Loco Reply Report comment

      July 26, 2015 at 1:58 am

      I see it a lot, local council revokes the license, the next morning the lawyer from the bar gets on the horn to the state and they are serving that demon rum by 4pm. Like Buzz said, “The state of Iowa IS in the liquor business.”

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    July 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    If cops really do sit outside his business, how about some proof like pictures of this happening, updated ones too, not old.

  10. LVS Reply Report comment

    July 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I believe the ordinance will hold up. It was copied from a ordinance like it in Cedar Rapids. It is a useful tool to control these thugs and renters who don’t care about the neighborhoods they live in. If they enforce it a few times the slum lords and the thugs that rent from them will wake up and start changing their ways. It worked in our neighborhood. They have to do something to control the drugs supported by liberals.

  11. LVS Reply Report comment

    July 25, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Under the city ordinance they have enough to close him down if they want. He knew the rules and didn’t take the steps to keep the trash out. As far as the police cars, of course they are visible in a high crime area. That is what they are supposed to do.

    • Reggie(red) Reply Report comment

      July 25, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      I agree LVS,the Barlas’ think they are above the law.