ABC Revokes BBC's Liquor License

Due to reports of misbehavior, state agency pulls plug on party at Menlo Park bar.

A state agency revoked the right of the British Bankers Club in Menlo Park to serve alcohol, and the current ownership group will now be required to sell the establishment, said a lead investigator in the case.

Erik Szakacs, a supervising investigator for the California department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), said the decision was made due to repeated reports of patrons misbehaving at the bar, located at 1090 El Camino Real.

"Basically, it has been operating in a disorderly fashion," said Szakacs.

As part of the decision, bar owners Lance White and Richard Eldridge have agreed to sell the bar, along with the temporarily suspended liquor license, to another approved operator within the next six months, according to Szakacs.

The license will be re-instated for the establishment once the transfer of ownership is complete. Should White and Eldridge fail to find a buyer over the course of the next 180 days, the license will be revoked permanently, said Szakacs.

Repeated calls to the bar were not returned Friday, but a recorded message said it will be closed until Jan. 12 for remodeling.

An investigation by the ABC into the disorder and misconduct taking place at the bar began almost two years ago at the request of Menlo Park Police, said Szakacs.

A variety of repeated offenses such as reports of drunkenness, fighting, noise complaints from neighbors, drugs, prostitution or other types of disorderly conduct can result in an alcohol license being revoked, said Szakacs.

And though he did not cite a specific case that resulted in the department's decision, Szakacs said that concerns about overly intoxicated patrons and repeated fights breaking out at the bar were a factor.

Szakacs also confirmed that the arrest of two bar employees for sexual assault in 2010 were considered as part of the investigation.

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