Owner’s Of ‘The Venue’ Devastated With City’s Decision

Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-04 16:12:10-04

WALKER, Mich. – Ajay Chhabra was so distraught with the city’s decision, he had to be taken away from the microphone by his attorney.

He said his business won’t survive not having a liquor license.

The Walker city commission voted 5 to 1 not to recommend the renewal of the business’s liquor license.

The vote came after 15 to 1 came out in support of the bar during the public comment section of the meeting.

The Venue operates as a restaurant by day and a nightclub at night.  Commissioners say it’s what happens late at night that prompted their vote.

Allegations of nudity, gambling, all outlined in a report by the Walker City Attorney.

But mayor Barbara Holt and four other commissioners said there was one issue they couldn’t look beyond.

The mayor spoke of reports of, “Serving alcohol to minors.  Those happened in 2011, 2012,  and 2013.  Those will reflect how I make my decision.”

After the meeting the bar’s owner, Chhabra told FOX 17, “I have no idea what I am going to.  I am very disappointed.”

Chhabra said he’s tried to work with the city in the past, to clear up any mistakes.

“We called the cops because minors were out drinking in the parking lot and they tried to blame me for every single thing,” said Chhabra.

Ashima Chhabra, the owner’s daughter said the decision will impact the family and the city, “You have just taken our livelihood.  You have taken everything we have.  We have built this business from scratch.”

According to the attorney representing ‘The Venue’, the State Liquor Control Commission will meet in late April to have the final say on renewing the liquor license for the business.

The attorney said historically the State Commission follows the city’s recommendations.