Aside from approving a multi-million dollar new facility for the golf course which it never should have owned in the first place, it’s been quite some time since Apple Valley has done something incredibly stupid. Unfortunately following a variety of very serious violations at the incredibly disgusting ‘Spoon’ restaurant located near McDonald’s, Apple Valley’s City Council allowed the business to continue operating with a liquor license even though all common sense dictates they do the opposite.
From this article which appeared in the Star Tribune:
Fire department inspectors have warned but not cited the Spoon for 27 fire code violations since January 2011. The violations include repeatedly obstructing fire exits and exceeding the 265-person maximum capacity, Fire Chief Nealon Thompson said. He said the owners removed tables and chairs to comply with occupancy limits, but when inspectors returned months later, the extra tables and chairs were back. That narrowed aisles and would impede patron egress in a fire emergency, Thompson said.
A police report noted that on Sept. 3, a promoter hired three guards, ages 23 to 26, who carried loaded handguns and were not licensed security guards as state law requires. The trio, who had permits to carry guns, also were drinking while on duty, said police, who broke up three fights that night.
The last major disturbance was Oct. 27, when a party bus brought revelers to the Spoon. Patrons scattered that night when a man brandished a handgun, the police report said. Police never found the gun but broke up fights involving about 25 people. Rechtzigel said about 10 squad cars were needed, including backup from neighboring cities, to gain control.
While the owner claims the fire inspector is lying and the police department harasses his customers, there is no evidence city employees are at fault. Even though Apple Valley’s police chief recommended termination of their liquor license or allow it to continue with serious limitations tacked on. Instead, the City Council approved a temporary, one month, permit and work on a more permanent license to be voted on in the future.
Listen, I’m all about local governments staying out of the business of private industry. In fact, I would prefer they have as little input as possible. However, one of the sole purposes of government is to provide adequate public safety protections for its citizens. While the police chief advocated for termination of their liquor license (which supposedly would have killed their business — a welcome outcome in this instance), the City Council voted to let it continue. Residents of this city should not be subjected to ANY violence, especially gun violence and fighting requiring responses from neighboring communities or serious fire violations which were completely ignored.
Why the City Council feels they need yet another opportunity to make changes no one knows. They have repeatedly done little following requests for public safety changes and blatantly ignored fire safety violations. They had their chance and it’s time for them to no longer be a part of the Apple Valley community.
Do you think Spoon’s ownership deserves anymore chances? Do you want gun violence, fist fights, and fire safety violations in your town? Do you believe the claims of the owners that they were repeatedly harassed by public safety officials? If you do, do you think the police and fire departments were doing what they needed to in order to stop the problems? Whatever you have to say about this one, go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.