State liquor oversight panel sets date for Portland tavern’s appeal to keep license

Patrons enter Sangillo's Tavern on Hampshire Street in Portland last March.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Patrons enter Sangillo's Tavern on Hampshire Street in Portland last March. Buy Photo
Posted July 14, 2014, at 1:53 p.m.
The owner of Sangillo's Tavern, Dana Sangillo, will get a chance to argue why he shouldn't lose his liquor license.
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
The owner of Sangillo's Tavern, Dana Sangillo, will get a chance to argue why he shouldn't lose his liquor license.

PORTLAND, Maine — The owner of Sangillo’s Tavern will get a chance to argue why he shouldn’t lose his liquor license in an appeal hearing scheduled Sept. 11 in Council Chambers at City Hall.

The bar at 18 Hampshire St. lost its license after a 5-4 city council vote April 7. It has remained open while owner Dana Sangillo appealed the decision to the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations.

Laurence Sanborn, who manages the agency’s Liquor Licensing and Enforcement Division, last week said the September hearing will allow the city and Sangillo to present their entire cases, as opposed to an appeal based strictly on alleged flaws in the city’s argument to deny the license.

Public comment will also be accepted by the hearing officer.

Sanborn said appeal decisions can usually be made in about 30 days, but the timing will depend on the amount of testimony and evidence produced at the hearing.

Councilors who voted against the license renewal cited a police recommendation to deny the license based on complaints about the bar and its immediate surroundings.

Supporters of keeping the bar open argued March 17 that many of the complaints came from one source, involved people who were not patrons, or were from bar employees seeking assistance from police.

An unsolved Jan. 28 shooting outside the bar after it had closed left a 24-year-old Portland man paralyzed. Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch said March 17 the parties involved had been in the bar before it closed for the night.

If the state upholds the council’s decision to deny the license, Sangillo can appeal to Cumberland County Superior Court.

 

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