Owner Says ‘Lifestyle’ Cost Club Its License
Salt Lake Tribune,
January 1, 2003
P. O. Box 867, Salt Lake City, UT 84110
By Glen Warchol, The Salt Lake Tribune, email@example.com
The owner of a Salt Lake City gay bar says his alcohol license was revoked
because police and state officials are offended by its patrons’
"The basic problem is that we’ve been targeted by the police
department," said Club Blue owner Mike Webb. "They have been
bothering us for a long time for a variety of reasons. Most of the people in
the gay community think it’s an attack on our lifestyle."
But Earl Dorius, head of licensing and compliance for the Utah Department
of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said the violations at Club Blue, a private
social club, were the most flagrant he has encountered in his 22 years of
involvement with DABC, both as an administrator and earlier as chief counsel
for the agency.
"It’s the worst I’ve seen," Dorius said. "A commissioner
[Nicholas Hale] who’s been here for 11 years said it’s the worst he’s
The alcohol license for the club at 60 E. 800 South was pulled for six
counts of violating state liquor laws during a closed party in October.
The violations included a bartender serving alcohol while naked; club
employees permitting people to expose, caress and fondle genitals and
buttocks; and patrons and employees performing simulated or actual
masturbation, oral sex and sodomy. Fines for the violations totaled $11,000,
plus administrative costs.
In March, Club Blue’s license was suspended for 60 days following an
"underwear night" party that the DABC said led to lewd behavior.
Webb said because the October violations came during a closed party, it
should not have led to revocation of the club’s license.
"They are attacking me, saying I allowed or encouraged the behavior at
the party, instead of citing the people who were breaking the law. They are
putting me out of business," he said.
Dorius said that the club is permanently closed and the owners cannot apply
for another liquor license for any club for at least three years.
Webb said his attorney was in the process of filing for a stay on the
revocation. The club will appeal the revocation to the 3rd District Court, he
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