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Rumrunner's owner wants to sell bar license

Posted: December 5, 2012 - 12:03am

ANCHORAGE — The owner of a downtown Anchorage bar where police say a patron was handcuffed and beaten has agreed to sell his liquor license, but some city assembly members are opposed.

They think Basilio Gallo, the owner of Rumrunner’s Old Towne Bar & Grill, should lose his license.

“I don’t think we as a city benefit when we allow operators to behave in an irresponsible manner and — when all is said and done — cash out and walk away,” said downtown Assemblyman Patrick Flynn.

Gallo has signed a deal to sell his liquor license for Rumrunner’s and lease the bar to a T.G.I. Friday’s franchisee, according to Tuesday’s Anchorage Daily News. He did not respond to a call placed to the bar on Tuesday.

Some members of the Anchorage Assembly are planning to block the deal because they maintain that Rumrunner’s has created too many problems in the downtown.

Prosecutors in April charged the Rumrunner’s business with assault, evidence tampering and falsifying records. Police say a bouncer, who was working at the bar despite at least three felony convictions, severely beat a handcuffed patron.

Lawyer Kevin Fitzgerald, who is representing Rumrunner’s, said the case is tentatively scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Since then, state regulators have discovered more liquor-law violations at Rumrunner’s than at any other bar in Alaska, according to a list compiled by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board director.

The bar has not yet formally applied for a liquor license transfer. The proposal must be approved by the liquor board and is subject to review by the Assembly.

The new sale agreement calls for Rumrunner’s to receive $300,000 in exchange for the liquor license, furniture, fixtures and equipment, said former city Assemblyman Dan Coffey, who authored the agreement that calls for Burnett to lease the two-story space with an option to buy.

Coffey argues that allowing Rumrunner’s to sell the license would be best for downtown. Closing the bar without another business ready to take its place would leave a cavity in downtown commerce, he said.

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Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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