By Gregg Hennigan
IOWA CITY — An Iowa City bar that has kept the Police Department busy may be getting a sort of probation.
Chief Sam Hargadine is recommending that the City Council approve a six-month liquor license, rather than the typical 12 months, for Los Cocos, 1921 Keokuk St.
Since the southeast Iowa City bar opened about a year ago, there have been 396 calls to the police about it, and more than 200 police officer hours have been spent there, Hargadine said. Some of the calls have been for violence, including 24 fights, he said.
“It was just way too many calls,” he said.
The City Council will have the final say on whether to renew the bar’s license. It is to vote on the proposal Tuesday.
Hargadine said the owners of the bar have agreed to a number of conditions intended to reduce or eliminate the problems. That includes meeting with police monthly, enacting a plan to immediately reduce the fights and other serious problems, and monitoring the parking lot, where a lot of the incidences have occurred, he said.
The bar also must stop the after-hours events it had been hosting.
Hargadine said he took the unusual step of recommending a six-month liquor license to give the bar a chance to resolve the problems while allowing the city a shorter time period to revisit the matter.
“Our intent is not to shut someone down,” he said. “Our intent is to get voluntary compliance.”
Los Cocos Inc. President Heather German said the bar would follow the Police Department’s suggestions.
“Ownership is more than willing to comply with the requests of the city,” she said.