Dubuque Denies "Player's Sports Bar" Liquor License

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE — The city council in one Eastern Iowa city is denying one bar its liquor license renewal after police say there are is an alarming number of problems happening there. Dubuque Police say Player's Sports Bar makes up one-percent of the entire calls it's responded to in the past year. The Bar's owner says police are targeting Player's Sports bar.

On any given Friday or Saturday night, Player's Sports Bar attracts big crowds. It also attracts a lot of police attention. Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing says, "The bulk of it is just disturbance type stuff: fights, loud noises, carrying on through the neighborhood. The bar when they have a problem, their solution is to push it outside."

In the past 13 months police report 285 calls for service at Player's. That's more than 250 more calls than any other bar in that area. Bar owner Dave Lorenz says those numbers are misleading because he says police are targeting his bar. Lorenz says, "These aren't phone calls where someone literally calls and makes a complaint most all of these are self generated by the police department to watch our bar between the hours of one or two."

Lorenz say Players is open four nights per week, Wednesday through Saturday. That means all 285 police calls for service happened in a matter of about 200 nights.

"I believe if my patrons weren't under a microscope every night I am certain these figures would be deflated." Lorenz's attorney says only 35 of those calls for service generated a written police report. But Dalsing says Player's Bar is where the problems are, "I hope they take this as a learning opportunity more than anything and realize it isn't going to happen like this anymore."

Lorenz says he fully intends to appeal the city's liquor license denial.
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