April 4, 2012
Gloucester City Police Chief George Berglund (photo) announced today that the D'Place Bar on Rt. 130 and Klemm Avenue has been evicted from the building by the owner of the property. The bar has been a trouble spot for sometime. According to Chief Berglund there were other issues between the landlord and the tenants that were also factors for the court's decision.
Berglund said, "The landlord took the the bar owners to court, and the Judge granted an eviction against the establishment. The owners, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Vasuez are in the process of removing their equipment from the building. It looks like we will no longer be dealing with all of the issues that we have been having. We would like to thank all of the citizens who have supported us during our battle. It is unfortunate that it took this long but unfortunately processes like this are slow moving and beyond our control."
Asked about the eviction Gloucester City Mayor William James said, “I would like to commend the efforts of the police, fire and housing departments as well as council for recognizing the problem and it’s affect on the quality of life within the neighborhood by jointly addressing the problem through a well documented legal process. It's a sensitive area to venture into as we want to encourage new business in the community but at the same time we will not tolerate abuse of our hospitality, and we will address problem businesses in an aggressive, legal and professional manner.”
The owners of the D’Place Bar and Restaurant were charged in early January with 34 alleged violations by the City of Gloucester City. The list of charges vary and included such allegations as the purchase of alcoholic beverages from a prohibited source, health code violations, overcrowding, fist fights, brawls etc. In December a 24-year-old rapper who was performing at the bar was shot outside in the bar’s parking lot.
On January 10 after receiving the list of violations Ramirez and Vasquez held a news conference. They said the city was harassing them and they should not be held accountable for a series of bloody fights in their parking lot.
"The one-of-a-kind sports bar and restaurant owned by a Latino American family never thought that taking a vacant business and making it a better, more attractive place in a predominantly Caucasian American city with roots similar to theirs would be continuously harassed and denied basic civil liberties by their own township officials," they said in a statement.
In response Gloucester City Solicitor John Kearney said, "We think a business establishment has some responsibility for the behavior of patrons."
Also in January, the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control fined the club’s owners $7,100 after they were cited for buying alcohol from unauthorized vendors and for employing workers with criminal records.
Ramirez and Vasquez appeared before Mayor and Council on March 5. As a result of that hearing a deal was reached requiring the establishment to close at midnight and not offer any live entertainment. That arrangement was to remain in place for the next 60 days after which the matter was to be be revisited by the Mayor and Council.
The bar, located at 56 Crescent Blvd., near Klemm Avenue is two blocks from the former Cheerleaders Bar. It is a few feet from the entrance of Meadow Brook Mews a townhouse complex owned by the City of Gloucester City and the Meadow Brooks housing project, which are single family homes.
A full list of the charges can be found here.