Twins Bar faces eviction, loss of liquor license
A double dose of decisions against the owner of Twins Bar this week means the bar on East Fourth Street in Duluth won't be in operation much longer. Carl Green did not show up for a court date Thursday regarding his eviction from the space he ren...
A double dose of decisions against the owner of Twins Bar this week means the bar on East Fourth Street in Duluth won’t be in operation much longer.
Carl Green did not show up for a court date Thursday regarding his eviction from the space he rents from Charlie Lemon; Green now will have to be out of the property as soon court documents are finished. A little more than 12 hours earlier, the body that governs liquor licenses in Duluth recommended the revocation of the license for Twins.
The Alcohol, Gambling and Tobacco Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to recommend to the City Council that it pull the license after reports of late payments of taxes and a high number of police calls to the bar over the past seven months. The City Council could vote on the license at its meeting Monday night.
Green was at the hearing at City Hall on Wednesday and “didn’t really have much of an explanation,” commission President Chris Pekkala said.
Green told the commission that he shouldn’t have to pay the city tourism tax for businesses making more than $100,000 because he clearly wasn’t taking in enough money to meet that threshold. The city contends that the receipts from the first two months the bar was open showed he would reach that mark. If he didn’t, the city would stop requiring the tax and even offer a refund, Pekkala said.
Green also told the commission that negative publicity in the media about the bar cut into his business.
One commission member suggested a suspension of the license until Green could correct his finances. Pekkala said that was trumped by member Ryan Stauber, who moved to recommend pulling the license. There wasn’t much dissension or discussion, Pekkala said.
The commission was presented a detailed account of the police calls there since November, when the bar opened under Green’s ownership. It includes instances of fights, an arrest with a gun found in a parking lot behind the bar, and a security guard who fired shots at a man running from the bar.
The commission also received information about late tax payments and reports, and overdue penalty fees.
The hearing lasted about two hours, with police officers and the city worker in charge of tax payments testifying.
Green was renting the bar space from Lemon, who once ran Twins Bar. Lemon began an eviction process on Green’s company, Wessman Estates, on May 20. Lemon said Green has missed payments or offered worthless checks.
At an eviction hearing Monday, Green told a judge he was filing for bankruptcy, which could have put any eviction process on hold. But he never provided documents to the court indicating he was filing, and his absence Thursday made the eviction official by default.
Green hung up without comment when reached by phone by the News Tribune on Thursday.
The eviction process played a role in the commission’s license decision, Pekkala said.
“Beyond the nuisance calls, financially, it’s not working,” he said.