The doors of a local pub closed this week as it began to serve a monthlong suspension of its liquor license.
Park Sports Bar & Restaurant, at 30 South Park St., had its liquor license suspended last week for 30 days by the township council acting as the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board. The bar’s sentence began at midnight on Monday.
The bar is a popular pub and eatery located in the heart of Montclair's downtown. The owner, Jeff Melnikoff, pleaded no contest on Oct. 11 to three charges of excessive noise, fighting outside the bar, and serving too much alcohol to a patron.
Melnikoff said while he was disappointed with the decision, he was not surprised the board voted to suspend his license.
“It is sad that [the board] had to take those measures for things that happen in every bar,” he said on Monday.
While the bar can remain open to sell food, Melnikoff said he decided to keep the bar closed until the suspension ends on Nov. 14.
The board charged the Melnikoff with three violations, each carrying its own penalty. The charges are as follows:
• 5 days for excessive noise: On Jan. 15, 2010, a DJ was playing excessively loud music within 24 hours of the bar receiving a warning about playing the volume of its music. When the police were called, the DJ was reportedly intoxicated, threatened police and was combative.
• 15 days for a brawl: On Dec. 12, 2010, police were called to break up a fight in a parking lot near the bar at about 1:40 a.m. One of the persons was also the age of 21.
• 10 days for serving too much alcohol to a patron: On April 23, 2011, a patron was served too much alcohol, and fell off a bar stool and cut his head.
The board also noted there were approximately 79 calls to the police department regarding the bar between Jan. 1, 2010, and April 30, 2012. The board also denied Melnikoff the ability to convert the board’s suspension into a state imposed monetary fine.
The future of the bar is uncertain. Melnikoff said he has ruminated on selling the bar or the liquor license, or possibly moving the bar to another location. He added that he is undecided about whether he will open the bar after the suspension ends in November.
“All options are open,” said Melnikoff.