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City Fines, Suspends BlackFinn's Liquor Permit Citing Safety Concerns

Popular downtown Naperville bar agrees to make changes after admitting liquor code violations.

After a number of incidents at BlackFinn American Saloon, including a brawl in October, city officials have suspended BlackFinn’s late-night liquor permit for seven days beginning Nov. 16, according to a city press release.

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While meeting with city officials Nov. 5, BlackFinn admitted to four violations of the city's liquor code and voluntarily agreed to the suspension. The popular downtown Naperville bar also agreed to installing an ID checking system in the next 30 days, security cameras within a one-year time-frame as well as local Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training for its security staff.

If no additional liquor code violations occur during the first three days of the suspension, the city will suspend the remaining four days, city officials said.

The city also fined BlackFinn $1,000, according to the city.  

After a police investigation, the city’s legal department reviewed the liquor code violations and drafted a recommendation for Mayor A. George Pradel, the city’s liquor commissioner, to review and approve, according to the city.

“I believe suspending BlackFinn’s late-night liquor permit is fair and reasonable,” Pradel said in a press release. “The safety of the downtown is a top priority, and I approve of this agreement and find this to be an acceptable solution in this instance.”

On Oct. 27, four men were arrested after a brawl broke out between them around 1:28 a.m. at BlackFinn. One of the men had to be subdued with a Tazer, according to the Naperville Police Department. 

Officers were in the area of the bar that night when they "observed several subjects fighting," according to a police press release. Police said the men began fighting inside BlackFinn before spilling into the street. 

Naperville police, along with assistance from the DuPage County Sheriff's Deparment, intervened and arrested the four men outside of the bar. 

“The safety of those persons who visit downtown Naperville is a top priority for the Naperville Police Department,” Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall said in a press release. “Our objective is to ensure those who visit have a pleasurable and safe experience. Those who chose to be disruptive, violate our ordinances and liquor codes and ruin the experience for others will be held accountable.”

GardenMadel November 15, 2012 at 07:33 PM
7 Days? $1000 fine? Really? The city's priority is not safety....it's cash from liquor sales. The city needs to stop backing these bars and look for other income. We could have policemen out patroling our neighborhoods at 1 in the morning, instead of bouncing people out of bars. Normal citizens don't frequent downtown Naperville anymore because they are afraid for their safety. It's no longer a place for families and children ....not even during the day. All these bars should be boarded up....so as to stop all the riff-raff that seems to think Naperville is the place to get wasted, beat someone up and drive intoxicated through our residential areas on their way out of 'Dodge". Shut them all down and give us our downtown area back!
T November 15, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Excellent thoughts and well written. The income from these booze palaces is not worth the loss of a family-friendly downtown. Naperville encourages us to shop locally but then drives us away with their tacit approval of these tawdry booze slingers.
Mayday Mayday November 15, 2012 at 09:49 PM
"If no additional liquor code violations occur during the first three days of the suspension, the city will suspend the remaining four days, city officials said." After 3 days of being on their best behavor, they get their full license back? That's pretty weak.
Vicki Coletta November 15, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I think it's interesting that the seven day suspension will be lifted if there are no code violations the first three days. They'll be back in business just in time for "Black Wednesday", the biggest drinking night of the year. Sounds like a win-win for the CIty and the FInn, not so much for the people who live here.
Despiser of Obama November 16, 2012 at 06:10 AM
When do children go Downtown late at night to be afraid for their safety and even during the day. What world do you live in? I've been Downtown on numerous weekend nights and never never encountered any problems what so ever. Plus during the day Downtown is safe as anywhere else you can be. Don't like the Downtown late at night on the weekends don't go there. Also show me any town that has bars that has no problems.
GardenMadel November 16, 2012 at 01:57 PM
I think that the people of this community should be presented with some form of benefit analysis. In other words, does the existence of these bars actually pay for the cost incurred by the city? Or could my tax dollars that go to support the downtown area, be better spent elsewhere? What 'does' it cost tax payers to keep police staff, fire staff, EMTS, etc. downtown? Plus what is the cost to the city and community in terms of damage to property, clean up and lost reputation? Budgets are hurting and this community needs to start asking questions. I'd rather have our public servants out looking out for the masses....instead of sitting in wait for someone to be 'stabbed, written up and transported" from one of our exemplary drinking holes.....
Despiser of Obama November 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM
It's not just the bars, it's the stupid immature scum that don't know how to act while drinking. If the idiots that are arrested are from other towns , they should receive heavy fines, be charged for the arrest/booking process and the Officers time it takes to process the idiots. One thing I do want to see that the bars close at 12:30 or 1:00 A.M.
Jeff Goeringer November 17, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I bounce downtown Naperville and agree with all the above statements. From my view I can watch all night the young young kids going in and out if that establishment. Seems to me it is never going to change and just should be shut down.
Maori Tuakana November 18, 2012 at 04:51 PM
This place is a joke. What a shame that, with this place being so nice, it's got a worse reputation than the older dives in town. These owners & managers, should always be updating their staff on security issues that are constantly changing in town. Today it's Black Finn, before it was a stabbing a Frankie's, & before that it was fights a The Lantern ever other night. I worked security at some of these bars, & it (problems) will always be there. The city just has to figure out where it is shifting to, & cut out the "cancer" before it grows. It sucks when places are known for allowing underage kids, fighting, drugs, etc...

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