Kicker’s Pub and Grub had its license suspended for 10 days by the Waukesha Common Council on Tuesday, despite objections from the bar owners and more than a dozen people speaking about the bar, calling it a safe environment.
The suspension is to begin by April 18, according to the council’s action.
Owner Darrell Radmer faced the suspension after selling alcohol to minors working undercover with the Waukesha Police Department in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, Radmer was accused of keeping “an improper house” when he was involved in a verbal altercation with police officers after he personally sold alcohol to the underage people.
It was the first time a bar’s license has been considered for suspension in more than 10 years, according to Alderman Steve Johnson, who chairs the Ordinance and License Committee.
“This went above and beyond the two failed compliance checks,” Johnson said.
“Are you going to give me a ticket or not,” Radmer yelled at police several times while pacing back and forth, the complaint filed against Radmer by Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack. A police specialist took Radmer outside to discuss the issue, however, Radmer continued to yell, so the specialist informed him he was being cited and proceeded to walk back to his squad car.
Radmer followed the officer to the car, the complaint states, telling the officer that he would post pictures of the minors working with the police department on Facebook for all other bars.
Jack commented that this is the first time he has seen volunteers working with the police department threatened over their work. He also warned that the Waukesha Police Department will be recommending other enforcement action as underage alcohol violations remains a large concern in the community.
“It is a bigger deal if they threaten the safety of our volunteers,” Jack said. “I have to look out for the safety of our volunteers. If this is not supported, then we are telling the public and our bars that it is OK to serve minors and that there are no consequences. … I am asking you to take a stand and say that it is wrong to serve minors and it is wrong to threaten volunteers.”
“How many times does it take for a suspension? Once, twice, 10 times?” asked Alderman Terry Thieme. “The owner could have been arrested for disorderly conduct. I think (the police department) did give them consideration in that way.”
However, several Waukesha aldermen took exception to the suspension, questioning if the bar was being treated unfairly in the city compared to other bars who have had at least two underage alcohol violations in a year. Johnson commented that police are willing to work with the establishments to correct the behavior.
Alderman Roger Patton pushed for the suspension to be placed on hold to allow the police department and the bar owners to make amends. However, that motion was shot down by the Common Council.
“The main thing is he lost his temper and he chose to deal with it in this way,” Patton said. “If he can make peace with the officer, 90 days might seem a whole lot different. … We don’t need more closed businesses.”
Alderman Eric Payne also said he did not feel a 10-day suspension was appropriate.
“They made it a better situation,” Payne said. “They worked together, they tried to make things better, they try to make the relationship better between the bar and the police department.”
Alderman Corey Payne felt there wasn’t enough consistency used to enforce a suspension. He also noted that the bar owner has already been cited for the violations at the bar.
“I am not a fan of this case-by-case basis. … To have this gray area doesn’t sit with me,” said Cory Payne.
The bar owners claimed they have been harassed by police since the violations, with officers frequently coming in for compliance checks.
“They were in every night,” Radmer’s wife, Stacey Radmer, said. “They told our bartender that she needed to turn off the music at 1 a.m. That isn’t not right. That is not bar close.”
Additionally, Stacey Radmer said they felt it was unfair that Darrell Radmer was the one being held responsible for both incidents when the first violation was done by the bartender. Darrell Radmer sold the alcohol to the underage volunteers during the second violation.
“They actually created a ruckus. … They were served to stop the ruckus,” Stacey Radmer said. "I feel that what is going is not fair, it is not fair at all.
Ending her statements, Stacey Radmer told the Waukesha Common Council she did a Google search on Waukesha police officers, bringing up negative news stories – some of which officers resigned while facing termination.
“I think the police chief needs to look in his own backyard,” Stacey Radmer said.
Thieme, a retired Waukesha police officer, took exception to the comments about Jack.
“He has shown that he keeps his house in order,” Thieme said. “When someone jumps out of line, he does take care of that.”