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City planners to consider revoking El Miramar's alcohol license

Modified: Friday, Feb 1st, 2013




WATSONVILLE The Watsonville Planning Commission will consider Tuesday revoking El Miramar Sports Bar and Restaurant's alcohol permit after the establishment reportedly violated many of its conditions.

According to a report by Marcela Tavantzis, community development director, and Suzi Aratin, senior planner, two compliance checks, one on Dec. 14 and another on Jan. 5, revealed that the restaurant was serving alcohol to minors, lacked food service and effective security, and was operating as a nightclub without a permit.

On Dec. 14, Aratin and Watsonville Police visited the business at 522 Main St. around midnight, and allegedly found a DJ playing music through a sound system that was set up near the front of the restaurant.

This violated one of the conditions set by the city, which stated that music is only allowed until 11 p.m. during weekends.

Police also reportedly found a minor under the influence of alcohol, who was in possession of a loaded, concealed semi-automatic pistol.

Known gang members were also found in the restaurant.

The report claimed that a security guard was "mingling" with the patrons and not checking those entering the business.

Police visited El Miramar again on Jan. 5 around 12:30 a.m. and found no security guards on site. The business was also operating as a nightclub, in violation with its permit.

If the business wants to establish a nightclub, the report stated, it needs to submit a permit.

After observing these alleged incidents, the report claimed that owner Juan Yepez Garcia has been "unable to successfully manage his business" and is "creating an unsafe environment in the downtown with inadequate security and management."

This is the fourth time the Planning Commission has reviewed the business in just over a year, the report stated.

El Miramar came under scrutiny after the fatal stabbing of Brandon Gil in March 2012 outside the business. Watsonville Police looked into the operations of the business, and reportedly discovered two incidents of minors drinking in the bar, a DJ playing amplified music on several locations and no exterior security cameras installed in the rear of the business.

The Watsonville Planning Commission will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Watsonville City Council Chambers, 275 Main St., fourth floor.

For the complete article see the 02-02-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-02-2013 paper.


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