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Belltown is Unified: Wants Vbar closed down…

Vbar is going to get their liquor license back. You should be outraged. Here’s why…

It is hard to think of a worse example of making a first impression. VBar is a relative newcomer to the neighborhood of Belltown. It’s a good exercise to evaluate a place based upon the results right?

Belltown bar owner arrested after firing gun during fight.

Shooting outside Belltown’s V-Bar wasn’t the first this year

Belltown bar owner charged with obstruction, false reporting

Second shooting brings cops back to Belltown block

Troubled Belltown bar loses liquor license

Trouble mounts for Belltown bar owner

Man charged in Belltown slaying gang member, ‘on something’

Report: Man beaten unconscious in Belltown

Last suspect arrested in fatal Belltown shooting on June 6

Get the picture? It’s simple to see that no establishment has been so effective in garnishing violence and horrible press for the neighborhood of Belltown. This business has been nothing but a destructive menace to the neighborhood of Belltown. Other businesses that have operated in the neighborhood for years are aghast at the troubles this one small establishment has managed to create.

The culmination of complaints reached a climax earlier this year when the City of Seattle stripped Vbar of it’s liquor license under an emergency suspension.  Based upon the police report the current owner refused to allow police entry into the restaurant even though a man lay unconscious inside without medical attention. The owner provided a false name and misled officers about what had occurred inside.

A previous incident that I still find hard to believe occurred on March 17th;

“The 33 year old female owner of the bar was also outside during the disturbance.  She went into the bar to retrieve a pistol.  She returned outside and fired the gun towards the group that was fighting.  Fortunately, no one was hit.  She then went back into the bar and gave the gun to someone.”

I reviewed the terms of the Liquor Control Board’s license reinstatement.

1) Ms Trinh Cam Le (the current pistol whipping owner of the VBar) is to divest ownership in the bar

2) Vbar is to hire two security guards for thurs-sun.

3) Install a security camera 

Here’s the huge joke – the ownership of Vbar will effectively remain the same. The  liquor board won’t give a license back to the current owner but the owner’s boyfriend and bar manager is “new” owner. Unbelievable. The fact the liquor control board would assume the positive change the neighborhood demands would result from this half baked solution seems amiss of elementary logic.

If you’re as upset as we are about this turn of events, you should do something about it.

Write an email to the following people;

rkuro@LIQ.WA.GOV, AR@LIQ.WA.GOV, Carl.Marquardt@seattle.gov, Ainsley.Close@seattle.gov, james.keblas@seattle.gov, Nick.Licata@Seattle.Gov, sally.clark@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, Tim.Burgess@Seattle.Gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, Jean.Godden@Seattle.gov, Tom.Rasmussen@Seattle.Gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, conlin@speakeasy.org, james.kenny@seattle.gov

Here’s a message you can use, but I’d encourage you to voice your own important opinion.

Greetings,

I am terribly concerned about the negative impact that the Vbar and its’ ownership have had on the Belltown community. I am deeply troubled to learn that the liquor control board has decided to reinstate the liquor license for this establishment which has been nothing but a plague to the neighborhood. Apparently the new owner is the boyfriend of the current criminally charged owner. This is unacceptable! I find this solution to be laughable and ineffective. As a citizen and resident of Belltown, I demand that my elected officials do their part to protect the community of Belltown.

I propose that the liquor control board permanently suspend the liquor license for Vbar. There is no understandable reason why an establishment that has been the source of so much crime,  obstruction and even death should continue to have the blessing of our city to do business in Belltown.

The Belltown Business Association, The Belltown Community Council and I, a resident of Belltown petition you on behalf of the people of our neighborhood to put an end to this nonsense and civic apathy.

Signed,

 


10 Comments on "Belltown is Unified: Wants Vbar closed down…"

  1. Greetings,
    I lived in Belltown for several years until trying other neighborhoods in Seattle. I recently returned because I love the density, the convenience, life and energy, and a true neighborhood feel. I love being able to walk into Wally’s and say “Hi” to Sam and Amy, walk over and see my friends at the Lava Lounge and watch Sylvia mix a good drink, head over to Bedlam grab a cup of coffee and ask Luke which burger I should try at Dope Burger and then maybe catch a show at the Croc.

    We have enough problems with some of the patrons certain establishments bring in. But that’s part of the payment to live in a great neighborhood. That being said, Vbar has gone well beyond acceptable cost and is downright dangerous not only to the morale and culture of Belltown, but the lives of it’s inhabitants.

    Apparently, the new owner is the boyfriend of the current criminally charged owner. This is unacceptable! I find this solution to be laughable and ineffective. As a citizen and resident of Belltown, I demand that my elected officials do their part to protect the community of Belltown, as well as it’s culture and pride.

    I propose that the liquor control board permanently suspend the liquor license for Vbar. There is no understandable reason why an establishment that has been the source of so much crime, obstruction and even death should continue to have the blessing of our city to do business in Belltown.

    The Belltown Business Association, The Belltown Community Council and I, a resident of Belltown petition you on behalf of the people of our neighborhood to put an end to this nonsense and civic apathy.
    Signed,

    Troy Morris

  2. Thanks for taking the time to have your opinion heard!

  3. For writing this!

  4. I’m a resident of Belltown, living just a couple short blocks from Vbar. I heard the shots fired, and saw the flashing police lights in my alley the night of the fatality. I don’t like this trash in my neighborhood.

    Having said that; I also don’t like the presumption that the people being emailed CAN do much about it. The city and LCB are public agencies, and as such have to treat each applicant individually. I wouldn’t want them to deny paperwork from me because I know someone who made bad choices in the past or because I bought a business from them.

    The NEW owner might be the PREVIOUS owner’s boyfriend, but he’s not her. The idea that the business might be operating with a liquor license again is appalling to me, yes; but so is the concept of public agencies deciding nilly-willy who to give licenses to or not. I think the better idea would be for the good neighbors of Vbar (including myself) to work towards getting the place shut-down completely, even if that means standing outside the front door to the place with picket signs (and/or tasers?) until the clientele just stops going there and the place can’t afford to stay open.

    It’s not the city’s job to decide who stays and who goes, it’s up to the community. You REALLY don’t WANT the state Liquor board deciding who lives/works in our neighborhood, that’s the job of the community. That includes you and me.

  5. So you dismiss copy/pasting an e-mail form letter to officials who can affect change, but you’d advocate standing in front of the bar and tasering innocent customers?

    Please tell me I am misunderstanding this post.

  6. I have a daughter that lives in Belltown. When the VBar was open I feared for safety because she lives too close for comfort. If you really care about the Belltown community and the well being of Belltown, you will not reopen an establishment that continually brings bad publicity. If people do not feel safe in Belltown they will not frequent Belltown establishments or continue to live there. VBar’s incidents certainly promote an unsafe atmosphere and contribute to a seedy image. No good can come from re-opening the VBar.

  7. I did write an email and encouraged my belltown friends to do so as well. I’ve met Ms Trinh Cam Le (one of my friends was a bartender there for a short while) and she is bat shit insane- I don’t doubt we will see repeats of previous violent events if their liquor license is reinstated.

    I believe that even if V Bar’s license IS reinstated, the cost of insurance will become quickly prohibitive for business.

    If their liquor license is reinstated, and there is another violent event there resulting in permanent injury or death, some or all of our government employees responsible for the reinstatement should be FIRED.

  8. The fact that the “new” owner is Jeffrey Pham, the boyfriend of the notorious current owner Trinh, and also has spoken many times on local tv stations defending VBar in every situation they have been involved in ( murders, guns, violence) is frightening. Why would the city and liquor board consider that an appropriate transfer of ownership. I am a business owner in Belltown and have never once seen Jeff or Trinh reach out to the community surrounding them. My hope is that they do not receive the right to continue. If they do I believe we as a community should send a letter to them, signed by as many as possible letting them know the effect they have on us, asking them to raise their standards of business practice, and if they do not we will do everything possible to put them out of business.

  9. I’ve gotten responses back from Licata, Roewe and Burgess.

    “Thank you for writing and expressing your concerns about V-Bar in Belltown. Councilmember Burgess shares your concerns and does not want to see this license reissued. “

  10. If you take a look at some of the big stories re:VBar you will see that he was the mouthpiece in the new to defend VBar and Trinh against crimes and safety violations that were committed. He also identified himself as the owner in person as well as in the media. He has also confirmed he is still with Trinh. He is also one of the people who blocked the police from assisting an injured 21 yo boy inside his business and lied to them about the kid being in the bar. These are facts.
    And before you stand outside the business protesting, think about the other small business around them who have had to clean up after a murder, feel unsafe because of vbar’s refusal to control their rough croud, and have suffered endless bad press because of the actions this bar chose?
    It is actually the LCB’s job to make sure that alcohol is dispensed safely and responsibly in an establishment, we should only ask they do more. Allowing a women who shot down the street, hand the cops a different(smaller) gun, and have that gun found in her place of business, off with a written warning is a very questionable choice of enforcement.

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