Shenanigan’s bar to stay open, after city’s second attempt to shut it down

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - The city of Davenport's attempts to shut down Shenanigan's Irish Pub have failed for a second time.

Earlier this month, Stephen Larson, administrator with Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Division sided with Administrative Law Judge, Margaret LaMarche’s decision to keep Shenanigan's open.

Michael Meloy is the attorney for Shenanigan’s and says problems in the area have been pinned on the bar for years.

“They are trying to tie it all to Shenanigans but there are four bars within a half block radius,” added Meloy.

Shenanigan’s is located off 303 W. 3rd Street in Davenport. The city says it wants to shut down the bar after 39 police calls and 36 arrests at the bar in 2014 and 2015. It also mentioned two stabbings during that time and brought up seven liquor licenses suspensions from 2008 and 2013 from the owner, Burton Davidson’s former bar, Malarkey’s in Rock Island, Illinois.

“We rebutted those charges because they were never substantiated by the facts of the case. Their (the city's) attempts were ill faded and not properly made,” added Meloy.

“When its super packed and people are outside it can get wild because of the population and people butt heads. Liquor can get to you,” says Jordan Sprott, who lives in Davenport.

In 2015, Davenport also suspended Shenanigan's liquor license saying the bar was "in danger to public health and safety." The city also granted outdoor liquor licenses to surrounding bars on West 3rd street on St. Patrick’s Day but denied issuing one to Shenanigan’s.

Judge LaMarche later reinstated the liquor license.

On January 11, 2017, Iowa's Alcoholic Beverage Division agreed the city couldn't pin the problems on the bar and backed Judge LaMarche’s ruling.

“To try and blame any downtown problems or crime on one bar is trying to single out my clients bar,” said Meloy.

The city can still appeal but for now, Shenanigan’s will stay open. News 8 also reached out to the assistant city attorney's office for a comment in this case, it did not return our phone calls.

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