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Allentown bar license revoked

June 5, 2009 3:17:09 PM PDT
An Allentown business owner has received accolades from President Obama, but that recognition may not be enough to save his bar. President Obama praised the owner of the Blue Monkey Sports Restaurant just three months ago as an example of what's right with small business in America.

But the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board sees Brian Conrad in a different light.

In a statement sent to Action News the Board writes that they have rejected the Blue Monkey's liquor license renewal because of reports of "...16 incidents of fights, intoxicated patrons and loud music..." and for "...serving alcohol to minors."

But even local officials here say the Control Board's estimation of the Blue Monkey is off target.

North Catasaqua Police Chief Kim Moyer says those incidents were relatively minor and spread out over the past three years.

"They've been more than cooperative to straighten out their problems?.we've had worse in years past and this nothing like a nuisance bar," Chief Moyer said.

The sticking point seems to be Conrad's rejection of a "conditional renewal" that came with undisclosed mandates.

Conrad decided to bring the case to a state examiner who agreed that the restaurant's liquor license should be renewed without condition.

But the Control Board is not legally bound to adopt the examiner's decision and they did not.

The attorney representing the Blue Monkey came just short of accusing the Board of playing tit-for-tat.

"I've done a multitude of these cases; I represent tons of licensees of all classes. It is the most arbitrary decision I've seen come from the Liquor Control Board," attorney Ted Zeller said.

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