Black-Owned Colorado Bar Battles Liquor License Suspension Amid Allegations Of Racial Discrimination
A Black-owned bar in Colorado is fighting to stay open after a Lakewood city council member says it was unfairly targeted. Jumbo’s Sports Bar and Grill had its liquor license suspended abruptly on June 1, according to ABC 7 News.
Tanesha Howard, the bar owner, told ABC 7, “They just came one day, June 1. And said you can’t serve no more alcohol as of today. No warning, no citation, nothing. And so, you can’t sell no more.”
Howard added, “They said we violated the liquor law.”
According to documents provided by the City of Lakewood, there were complaints of “undue noise,” the bar staying open past 2 a.m., overserving alcohol, and underage drinking. Early in June, the Colorado Division of Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement sent an underaged operative into Jumbo’s to attempt to purchase alcohol. The minor was refused, and the city determined that the underage drinking complaint was unfounded.
Lakewood City Councilwoman Anita Springsteen has supported Howard’s bar since she saw videos showing that Jumbo’s was the victim of racial discrimination.
“I picked through some of the reports. I could see what was happening, that they are being unfairly targeted, in my opinion. This is a systematic process of trying to push these people out. And it’s not fair. They deserve due process. They deserve to be heard,” Springsteen told ABC 7.
However, the Lakewood Liquor License Authority claims in its report, “Clearly this establishment is a magnet for gun violence, and those living nearby are likely to be victimized because the violence happens in the open air right outside the doors and windows to their homes.”
The loss of the liquor license has affected the business so much that Jumbo has set up a GoFundMe to assist with attorney fees and donations to help the business.
Howard is staying positive, as she told ABC 7, “I think that I’m going to go in and I’m going to get my liquor license back. Man, I gotta stay positive.”
A hearing has been set for Aug. 29 to decide the future of Jumbo’s liquor license, but until then, Howard and her family will remain positive and keep fighting.
As Howard wrote in the fundraiser post, “The added burden of facing racism during these trying times has only deepened the challenges we face. Despite these adversities, we remain steadfast in our determination to overcome and continue serving our community.”