NorShor Experience strip club gets its liquor license backA judge today ordered the City of Duluth to renew the liquor license of the NorShor Experience strip club, ruling that the city’s decision to revoke the license was “arbitrary and capricious.’’
By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune
A judge today ordered the City of Duluth to renew the liquor license of the NorShor Experience strip club, ruling that the city’s decision to revoke the license was “arbitrary and capricious.’’
The City Council voted 8-1 in August not to renew the East Superior Street club’s liquor license. The council cited two liquor violations and disruptive behavior inside and outside the business.
Judge Eric Hylden ruled that incidents at the club did not rise to the level of license revocation, given the “city’s historic tendency to routinely renew liquor licenses.’’
The court ordered the city to renew the NorShor liquor license and on-sale dance license from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2010. All liquor licenses in the city expire Aug. 31 each year and must be renewed.
“It was hanging over my head for awhile, and it cost me some sleep, but it’s what I expected would happen,’’ said Jim Gradishar, operator of the NorShor.
City Attorney Gunnar Johnson declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the ruling.
Hylden had earlier issued a temporary restraining order allowing the business to sell liquor without a license. Under Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure, a temporary restraining order may be granted if it clearly appears from the facts shown that irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to and applicant before an actual appeal can be heard.
“It’s terrific,’’ Randall Tigue, the NorShor’s lawyer, said of the decision. “It’s appreciated, but not surprising.”
The suspension, he said, “was as arbitrary and outrageous a decision as I’ve ever seen in my practice of law.’’
In a memorandum of law supporting his order, Hylden wrote that in the past licensing year, all indications were that the club “had largely cleaned up its act.’’ He stated that police officers had testified that the number of calls to the business – which the court would consider an important factor in determining whether a business was being operated as a public nuisance – had been reduced, and were low after police expressed their concerns to the business.
Gradishar, 47, has other legal problems. He is charged in Cass County with possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia, having an open bottle in a motor vehicle, transporting a firearm in a motor vehicle and disorderly conduct during a July incident. He pleaded guilty in St. Louis County District Court last year to carrying a firearm in a public place – his club -- while under the influence of alcohol and received a probationary sentence.