Officials request Fairbanks bar close

Residents say bar draws rough crowd to quiet neighborhood

Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Neighbors of a Fairbanks bar have banded together to force the shutdown of the bar that they say is a magnet for trouble.

On Thursday, members of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly responded by voting to ask the state board to shut down the Dogs Bar in northeast Fairbanks. The bar sits on a side road near the intersection of Farmers Loop and the Steese Expressway.

Neighbors said the bar, which at times advertised for strippers and cage fights, drew the wrong crowd, causing trash to be strewn along the road and increasing vandalism, in what they say would be a quiet street if not for the Dogs Bar.

The bar is the only business on the dead-end road. That location, neighbors told the assembly, means they know where the drivers who speed past their homes are headed.

Rita Leake said it would otherwise be a quiet neighborhood.

"The fact that the bar is there, we can't even allow children to cross the road without supervision," she said.

Borough Assembly member Guy Sattley and borough Mayor Jim Whitaker asked the assembly to object to extending the bar's liquor license. The bar's management argued unsuccessfully for leniency.

The assembly voted 8-1 to object to extending the license. Now the recommendation goes to the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which borough officials indicated are set to review the bar's license next month.

The board reviews licenses across the state every two years.

The bar's managers said they originally aimed to open and operate a neighborhood tavern before an unexpected influx of rowdy customers temporarily let things get out of hand.

Troy Poage, one of two brothers who own the bar, said they want to move the bar but have run into hurdles in the real estate market.

Sattley indicated that while the bar had been allowed to operate at the site under grandfathered zoning rules, that allowance had run out.

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