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EvenFlow gets fine, 24-hour license suspension

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 5:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 9:54 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – A Geneva night spot will be punished with a $1,000 fine and 24-hour suspension of its liquor license, which was announced Thursday at a liquor hearing.

The liquor code charge alleged that alcohol was served to owner Michael Knuth's partner, Nicholas Mercadante at 4 a.m. Nov. 17 in violation of the city's code. The liquor code does not allow alcoholic beverages to be served between 2 and 6 a.m. on the licensed premises any day of the week.

The ruling was an agreed order between Mayor Kevin Burns in his capacity as the liquor commissioner and Knuth. EvenFlow Music and Spirits is at 302 W. State St.

Knuth did not challenge the charges or the ruling.

The live music venue's liquor license will be suspended from 2 a.m. Jan. 5 to 1:59 a.m. Jan. 6, according to the ruling.

According to a police report, officers went to the business because cars were parked there and the front door was open. Police thought criminal activity could have been involved, the report stated.

The charge was the second incident involving drinking and serving alcohol after closing hours, according to police records.

On Sept. 23, two months after the venue opened, police came to the club at 5 a.m. because they saw people standing in the doorway after closing hours, Police Cmdr. Julie Nash said. At first, officers were not allowed inside, but after they were let in, the officers saw liquor consumed after hours, Nash said.

At that time, the business owners were reminded of the city liquor code and warned if another violation occurred, they would be cited, Nash said.

After the hearing, neither Knuth nor Mercadante would comment.

Regarding the business having two violations less than four months after opening July 10, Burns said, "We educate before we enforce."

"Our objective is to have every liquor license holder succeed," Burns said. "We begin by educating them on the law. And if there is a failure to understand that education and there is an infraction, then of course we enforce. We have done the former, and now we are doing the latter."

Still, Burns praised EvenFlow for its contribution to the city's downtown.

"EvenFlow is an extraordinary asset to the community," Burns said. "We wish them the very best, and I have every confidence they are going to succeed. This is one of those situations where the city must act as it did, in the interests of the entire community."

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