The owner of a rowdy Hillcrest section bar faced questions as he sought to renew the entertainment license for Casanova’s Bar and Lounge.
Daniel Reynoso, owner of Bacchus, also known as Casanova’s located at 176 Union Avenue, needs the City Council to approve his entertainment license renewal.
“You, right now, are in suspension by the state?” asked council president Maritza Davila referring to the suspension of Reynoso’s liquor license by the state.
“Yeah, because of that entertainment license,” answered Reynoso.
“No. That is incorrect,” remarked Davila. “The state does not suspend your ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) license because you don’t have an entertainment license.”
Reynoso was suspended because he broke several laws.
On July 4, 2020, Reynoso’s business sold liquor outside the legal hours. He also allowed patrons to gather in violation of social distancing rules in effect at the time.
On December 14, 2020, Reynoso’s business sold liquor to an underage person. His business was also cited for having a pool table without a permit, allowing indoor smoking, His business had numerous other violations, according to records provided to the council.
The state suspended the business for 98 days on January 12, 2022. He paid $3,800 to reduce 38 days of suspension and another 30 days is being held in abeyance. His business must remain closed until February 17, 2022.
Police records show his business has been the subject of numerous noise complaints and fights.
“We should not move forward with this,” said councilman Shahin Khalique. He represents the area where the bar is located. He said the suspension needs to be cleared before this is brought before the City Council for a vote.
Councilwoman Ruby Cotton pointed out Reynoso’s food license expired in December. Officials said the city extends a 30-day grace period to expired license holders.
Reynoso told the council he needs to keep his business running to feed his family.
“You have not been a friendly neighbor. You have caused a lot of quality-of-life issues,” said Davila.
Councilman Luis Velez, who has been focused on improving quality-of-life in the 5th Ward, appeared to defend the business during the meeting. He later clarified that he is not in favor of granting the renewal given Reynoso’s poor quality-of-life record.
Council members will not consider the renewal at their meeting on Tuesday night. Davila said Reynoso’s application will be considered after his liquor license suspension ends.