City OKs bar in Bergmann

Drinks can be sold only after school hours; Assembly requires owner to meet other conditions

Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Bergmann Hotel can open its bar, but only when school is out and if it meets other conditions, the Juneau Assembly decided Monday.

For months the Bergmann has been under fire for wanting to reopen the bar in the basement at 434 Third St. Hotel owner James Barrett does not mind having to open after 4:30 p.m. on school days, he said.

"The people I'm going to be catering to don't drink at 9 in the morning and if they want to, I don't want them there," Barrett said.

Those who oppose the bar say the Bergmann has a long history of alcohol- and drug-related activity that hinders the atmosphere of a residential neighborhood.

In June, an unknown gunman fired several rounds at a second-floor window of the Bergmann. In February, a woman fell from a third-story window of the hotel onto a neighbor's roof after she and her boyfriend became intoxicated.

Despite the hotel's checkered past, Barrett said he's trying to upgrade the hotel. Barrett, who's owned the hotel nearly three years, plans to sell higher-priced drinks to attract a more professional clientele.

"It's with great gratitude that this part of the process has been accomplished," Barrett said. "It has been a long time in coming."

To get licensed by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board the hotel must lock the Harris Street basement door - now an emergency exit - whenever the bar is open; install different smoke detectors; replace a fire extinguisher; secure carbon monoxide gas cylinders to a wall to prevent them from tipping over; and install gypsum board on the ceiling of the currently vacant spaces for fire protection. Sprinkler system heads also need to be lowered by a licensed installer.

The smoke detectors must be installed by Sept. 6 and the gypsum board within 90 days. The other conditions must be met prior to the bar being opened to the public. Barrett hopes to open within two weeks, he said.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would approve a transfer of the liquor license to the Bergmann from The Penthouse, a former bar on South Franklin Street owned by Senate Partnership Inc. in Juneau. Senate would hold the license and lease the bar space from Barrett.

• Tara Sidor can be reached at tara.sidor@juneauempire.com



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