Main Street gets 10-day liquor license suspension
By Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | September 28,2012
BENNINGTON — A downtown bar, Doug’s on Main Street, has agreed to a 10-day suspension of its liquor license based on incidents that happened on the bar on June 2 and 3, according to William Goggins, director of the Vermont Department of Liquor Control’s education, licensing and enforcement division.
A hearing took place in Burlington on Wednesday to consider revoking or suspending the license but Goggins said the bar’s owners reached an agreement with the state to resolve the case.
According to Goggins, the report which led to the hearing is not yet a matter of public record but the notice of the hearing alleges several violations of Liquor Control Board regulations. According to the notice, all were from June 2 and 3.
The notice said one of the bar owners was drinking alcohol while on duty and that patrons who were displaying “obvious signs of intoxication” continued to be served. The liquor license holder was also accused of serving four people without charging them.
According to the notice, a “disturbance/brawl broke out” on June 3.
Under the agreement, Doug’s will not be allowed to serve alcohol for 10 days. Goggins said on Thursday he didn’t know what dates the bar would not be allowed to serve alcohol or for any alcohol to be consumed on the premises.
Goggins said he didn’t know of another violation that had been brought against the bar, under its current ownership, before. The same building has been a bar for about 10 years but under different owners than Doug Goble and his mother, Mary Goble, the current owners who have had the business for about two years.
At their meeting on Monday, the Select Board discussed the hearing and whether they wanted to become involved. Town Manager Stuart Hurd said that while the town didn’t have a direct role in the hearing, he had put the issue on the agenda because some Select Board members said they wanted more information and because the Select Board signs and issues local liquor licenses.
The Select Board ultimately chose not to become involved in the hearing but it was the second time the board discussed concerns raised by the police department about some of the problems that police officers had to handle which seemed to have started at the bar.
Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette reminded the board that in January 2011, they had promised to take another look at Doug’s in April 2011 but had failed to follow up. Still, Doucette said things had improved “for a short period of time” in 2011.
“Now we seem to be back to where we were before. We’re having issues. Some of the downtown merchants have complained although they don’t want to go on record, they don’t want to put their name on paper. They ask, ‘When is the police department going to correct this,’” he said.
Doucette said he believed the town should not take any action until after the liquor control board hearing but said the Select Board members should know why police are concerned.
“We don’t sit outside of Doug’s to make it uncomfortable for the people that are going to Doug’s. We sit outside because we’re tasked with keeping the peace and making sure people are safe and that’s not always the case at this establishment,” he said.
Doug and Mary Goble were at the meeting on Monday but only addressed the board to ask that they be given advance notice if their business was to be discussed by the Select Board in the future.
A call to Doug’s on Thursday was not returned.