BBC's liquor license indefinitely suspended | January 18, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - January 18, 2012

BBC's liquor license indefinitely suspended

by Dave Boyce

Until another owner takes over operations at the landmark British Bankers Club, at the corner of El Camino Real and Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park, the restaurant and bar will not be licensed to serve beer, wine or liquor, according to a spokesman for the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agency.

The owners of the club settled with the ABC in October, agreeing to a suspension of the liquor license, effective Jan. 2, 2012. The suspension will remain in effect until the license is transferred to a new owner, ABC spokesman John Carr said in a telephone interview.

The complaint from the ABC calls the club "a disorderly house" that created problems for the Menlo Park Police Department in that officers "were required to respond and/or make numerous calls, investigations, arrests or patrols concerning the conduct and acts occurring in or around said premises, and which thereby created conditions then and there contrary to public welfare and morals."

The list of 39 incidents from 2009 and 2010 includes sexual battery and sexual penetration of an "unaware victim" on the premises; a terrorist threat; assaults with a deadly weapon; battery with serious injury, including battery on a medic; and numerous public intoxication and disturbance calls.

"The current owners will not be selling alcohol (in California) anymore," Mr. Carr said. In a previous story, the Almanac listed the owners as Lance White and Richard Eldridge. The club has not responded to requests for an interview.

The club's new owner will have to reapply for a liquor license and undergo the normal local process in acquiring one, which typically includes a background check, Mr. Carr said.

The owners received due process and could have hired an attorney and presented their case to an administrative law judge, but chose to settle, Mr. Carr said.

The ABC handles "dozens" of similar cases each year, Mr. Carr said.

The historic brick building that houses the BBC at 1080 El Camino Real used to house Menlo Park's administrative and police departments.


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