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Police Calls to Foxy's Nearly Tripled Neighboring Schooner Pub

A comparison of police calls to Foxy's Bar and Schooner Pub over the last three years show the now-closed tavern had quite a few more interactions with officers.

A comparison of police calls in the last three years to two bars across the street from each other shows that Foxy's Bar had nearly three times as many interactions with officers than Schooner Pub.

From 2009 until Foxy's closed in September, police records show 120 calls to the bar, with 54 of those calls being disorderly conduct, battery or fight/altercation.

Schooner Pub had a total of 44 calls from 2009 through November, with only 10 relating to disorderly conduct, battery or fight/altercation.

The history of police presence has further complicated efforts of hopeful business owner Troy Koput and manager Christian Zaja, who have been trying to launch Deville's Lounge in the space.

  • Related: New Start at Former Foxy’s Location Encounters Snags

Port Washington Police Chief Kevin Hingiss and City Administrator Mark Grams have both recommended the denial of the retail alcohol beverage license needed to operate the business. Hingiss cited incidents in Zaja's background — including an OWI offense in 2006 and an after-hours incident in April another bar, The Spot — as well as a long list of calls to Foxy's over its years of operation in his report recommending the denial of a liquor license. 

A sample of police calls to Foxy’s highlighted in Hingiss' report included the following from 2012:

  • Bar staff called police to report that a man they had kicked out for being unruly had come back. The man was cited for disorderly conduct.
  • People leaving the bar were warned for being noisy. One man was cited after police had to warn him a second time.
  • Officers on patrol heard a possible fight in progress and witnessed a large number of people leaving. Investigation led to citations being issued for underage drinking and underage people on the premises. One person was arrested for an outstanding warrant.
  • Bar staff reported a patron with a fake identification. Two citations were issued for underage alcohol consumption and misrepresentation of age by an underage person.
  • A noise complaint was called in. The police officer watched the tavern for 30 minutes and observed no citable violations although there was an increase in noise level due to the volume of customers. Bar security staff were warned to monitor their guests better.

Hingiss also said he would like to see changes to the alcohol license ordinance to make it tougher to earn a license.

  • Related: Problems With Former Foxy's Location Revival Sparks Talk of Changes to System

Even though the number of calls to Foxy's nearly triples that of its neighbor, the question remains whether this information should even be considered when discussing the possibility of letting in the new business owners.

Zaja had worked at Foxy's, but said his position with the company gave him no say in how things would run — adding that he understands the problems the former bar had and would work to create a better atmosphere at Deville's.

"I was never any type of manager or had anything to do with any decision making at the former Foxys," Zaja wrote in the comment section of a Patch article. "I was merely an employee."

Plus, former Foxy's owner Andy Lanza claimed to have a good relationship with the city's police officers, seen with his arm around an officer on the final night of the bar being open. Zaja concurred that the bar's relationship with the department had "always been a working relationship."

The Common Council will have a final vote Dec. 18 considering whether to approve the license for the business; the issue will be discussed in closed session according to Wisconsin law, unless Koput requests an open session hearing before the meeting.

Another bump in the road for business owners is a number of code violations revealed during a building inspection of the former Foxy's location, meaning a Change of Occupancy permit is denied unless the business owners take the time to correct each issue.

Even if the council decides to approve the liquor license, the code violations will need to be fixed so that an occupancy permit can be approved before a license is granted, Grams said.

— Reporter Amy Gilgenbach contributed to this report.

Christian Zaja December 11, 2012 at 08:49 PM
No as stated before the inspectors are doing their jobs. They do the inspections and then turn their reports over to the city. If the city in turn, does not enforce the violations, then they are to blame. There is only one person who runs this city and it is not the mayor.
Terry December 11, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I am not sure I would go as far as "thepatchsux" did above (awful user name by the way). I did find myself wondering the same thing though, and that was if Ms. Beyer had any skin in this game. It does seem mostly rehashed material, with a few new points thrown in, perhaps to justify itself. One of the big criticisms I have heard about the patch around town, its that it sacrificed journalistic integrity to "get chummy" with the previous chief. I hope that is not what is happening here, because there are legitimate questions that need direct answers and I would like to see them asked. To start with, I am not sure I am buying into this comparison. Statistics can be what they are for a variety of reasons. Just given the short list you listed above, it is clear that Foxy's self reported at least a percentage of these. If schooners didn't, and just hid these things, are we not penalizing Foxy's for trying to work with the police instead of handling it themselves or hiding it? Statistics can also be manipulated to receive a desired result. Milwaukee Police showed us that, but its been a problem with other agencies as well. How you classify a call, or where you list it as the location can be used to fudge or hide numbers. The owner of schooners is very connected, and liked by those in city government. Foxy's owner was not. Was Schooners listed as involved in any of those broken trees in front or it, or where the just listed as Franklin Street complaints?
annon December 11, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I know this has been said time and time again, but honestly I don't understand why ANY of this matters. No one is trying to reopen Foxy's. The proposed idea for Deville's is a completely different concept, different owner, and different target age group. What exactly is the issue? That the building in itself is cursed to bring bad vibes to the community? Is that why there are so many empty buildings downtown? Also, bringing Christian's irrelevant past into makes Port Washington's officials seem like the gossipy small town everyone accuses us of being. I mean, really, honestly... one OWI or DUI or whatever from over half a decade ago? How does that amount to someone being a bad business manager? I would like to know if any of the officials have actually taken the time to ask around or talk to Christian in person. From what I know, his employment at Foxy's prevented a multitude of problems, and caused none. That man worked like a DOG for that place, even without having any say. Personally, I can't think of anyone better to turn that establishment around and make it something great. Also, I would like to mention that without Foxy's there most people I know leave Port now when they want to go out. They aren't frequenting other local bars, they are taking business elsewhere. Foxy's closing was probably the best thing that's ever happened to downtown Cedarburg. So, goodjob. Let's make Port worse instead of better.
jon dough December 12, 2012 at 06:25 AM
We use to call it schooner hour when all the over served schooners crowd would make their way down to foxys at about 12:30-1 a.m. Also of this report I would like to how many of these people were repeat offenders? Probably none because we would ban them. How can you blame an establishment for a very few causing problems. All bars have the same problems. Of course a more popular bar will have more individuals that cause problems. But we did use the police a lot to help and now I am sad we cooperated so much since its causing problems with Troy and Christian from getting a fresh start.
Lyssa Beyer December 13, 2012 at 08:55 PM
The fate of Deville's Lounge will be discussed in a public session on Tuesday http://patch.com/A-0sL1

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