Citing public safety concerns, city asks Omaha bar to resubmit liquor license

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A downtown Omaha nightclub will have to resubmit its liquor license application and undergo a public hearing due to public safety concerns.

Ryan Wiesen, Assistant City Attorney, summarized 13 tavern reports at Tuesday’s city council meeting that detailed numerous violent incidents at the Throwback Arcade Lounge since February 2021.

Reports described multiple major combat disturbances, staff members interfering with police, illegal parking and complaints from neighbors.

“Part of my biggest concern is the late entry of officers when trying to enter the bar,” Councilwoman Aimee Melton said.

Melton chairs the city council’s legal committee, which has asked the company to submit a formal application for a liquor license. The Board unanimously approved this request.

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Throwback Arcade Lounge, located at 1402 Howard St., opened in November 2020.

Along with reports from the tavern, Wiesen shared security photos of two patrons leaving the lounge and urinating on nearby private property.

The official request does not revoke the club’s liquor license. Rather, it allows Throwback Arcade Lounge to renew its license only if the requirements that existed when the license was issued continue to be met. The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission will review the application and the city council will decide whether the license should be renewed or denied.

“I want good owners who have businesses to succeed,” Melton said. “That’s my goal, but I also think we need to have extra oversight here.”

Councilman Danny Begley also expressed concerns about public safety.

“When people’s physical beings are threatened because of this establishment, there’s a problem,” Begley said.

William McGinn, a lawyer for the club, told council members that Throwback Lounge hired off-duty officers to help with security last spring and that club owners were trying to work with neighboring owners on the issues.

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