Lilydale, Moose Country Owner Pursue Settlement
The city could also review part of its liquor ordinance in the process.
The city of Lilydale is working on a settlement with the owner of Moose Country bar related to a number of fights that broke out last Christmas after bar close.
Police say they observed alcohol still present on tables when they arrived after 2 a.m.
The city’s criminal attorney, Tom Lehmann, filed a misdemeanor charge in February against Joe Schaefer, who also owns the Wild Onion in St. Paul. The charge indicates that by allowing alcohol to be present or “on display” after hours, Schaefer violated his liquor license, and thus city ordinance. Violation of a city ordinance is a misdemeanor.
That would also result in a violation of the city’s best practices agreement with liquor establishments.
Schaefer pleaded not guilty in May.
Lehmann told the city council Monday that he expects a settlement to be prepared by the end of the year.
Schaefer’s lawyer, Michael Black, said a settlement will bypass the public airing of a court trial and the expense to both parties for what he described as an “uncertain result.”
The ongoing discussion and a settlement may also bring a change to the city’s ordinance, which Lehmann told the council is stricter than that of surrounding communities.
In places such as St. Paul, once 2 a.m. rolls around there is a “grace period” of about a half hour for patrons to finish their drinks and leave, said Lehmann.
In Lilydale’s ordinances, there is no such grace period.
“It’s a concern that came up when the enforcement actions were started because the ordinance is written in unclear language, and it also is enforced in a manner that is at odds with past practice in Lilydale and with the practice used by other surrounding municipalities,” said Black.
Lehmann said that the police department will have a say in any changes to the ordinance both for enforcement reasons as well as scheduling.