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Posted: 12/30/2003 12:41:34 AM EDT
Didin't want to post a controversial title but the content here might end up in this thread getting locked but I need soime business advice.

As all of you know I'm a bar manager and just opened a new place up for the guy(owner) I have been with on and off for 12 years.  It's a small neighborhood place, capacity about 100 or so.  Nice atmosphere, all new shiny equipment etc.  Well the place is getting a little busier every week and we are packed during Eagles games and on Friday and Saturday nights.  My problem is the place is getting "dark" if you get my drift.  The kid of dark that wears baggy cloths, uses ebonics, deals crack, wears nylon stockings for hats, deals crack, drinks and leaves no tips at all, deals crack.  Did I mention the crack thing?  Had 2 guys going in and out of the ladies room with the women in the place.  Told them no funny business but they blew me off.  Now before I get labeled a racist my concern is business going in the tank.  Several local places over the years have had problems like this that ended up with a shooting and/or getting shut down.  There's a bad neighborhood nearby that is known for drugs(crack), crime(crack dealing), murder(crack killings).  Owner definitly wants the place to stay clean but to be honest some of the barmaids are talking about quitting, these folks are slobs and shit the place up, the clean up guy is threatening to quit, and to be honest my bar brawling days are behind me and I usually don't have any bar backs or bouncers.  So I told the owner we need to stop selling Hennesy, Hypnotic, and loose the hip hop, rap and other urban shit from the jukebox and raise the prices on everything across the board.  We don't want to attract bikers either.  just the average joe schmoe looking for a beer or two after work of before a night on the town.  A shot and beer place.  What would any of you guys do?  This is the first time I have been confronted with this in my bar years.  The other manager and I as well as the owner are a bit perplexed.  And no I cannot pack heat at work.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:53:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 12:53:55 AM EDT by M4_Aiming_at_U]
Seems you need to take some "affirmative Action" of your own.

Have you seen this man actually sell, posses or use crack?

If so why didn't you call the police and have his ass tossed out of there with new shiny bracelets on?
If not, I would suggest you let him know that the police are aware of what's been going on in there and you think he should quit it.

Don't be rude with him. Act like your on his side and your just trying to help. Crack dealers would much rather move their spot than get their shit taken away and arrested. Also with that move, you wont have to fear any retaliation either.

I know there are going to be some gung ho types posting in there saying "shown him your gin and tell him your going to shoot his ass" all the shit someone who never had any real street knowledge or real street experiences.

Now don't get me wrong, there is always a time and a place for that type of action. But its not now.

You have to try to handle this firstly by not getting your place shot up or your wife killed.

I would also suggest setting up cameras all over the place. Even if they aren't real, a drug dealers does not want his face taped while doing anything illegal.

What part of PA is this place in?
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:54:29 AM EDT
The sad thing is that the bad element, in this particular instance, happens to be predominantly black.  You are not racist if this is the case, as I'm sure you'd be equally pissed if it were white trash or bikers dealing meth.

Your plan sounds like a good one... stop catering to the people you don't want there and they should stop coming around. Changing the music is a big step.  They may try and deal around the outside of the place, but calls to the local constabulary should allievate most of that.  Another solution would be to make sure that there is no market for their 'product' in your bar; if someone sees a shady transaction happen, eject everyone involved.  Make it a very drug unfriendly place.

I hope you can pull it off with out too many hassles!
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 12:54:49 AM EDT
Getting rid of what they want is a good start.  Specifically the beer/alcohol brands and the music.  

The main thing that will help keep them out is plenty of lighter customers.

Raising prices may not help if they are actually crack dealers.

Hire a respectable black security guard/bouncer.  If you find the right guy he will tell them how it is without having to worry about the racism crap.  Just make sure he isn't gonna be the type that will let people get away with murder just because they are his "brothers".
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:04:22 AM EDT
Put up a "Whites Only" sign on the door.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:05:40 AM EDT
Yeah these are black guys mostly mid 20's gang banger, gangsta types.  No real problems but I know there are several that were "feeling out" the place.  

Cops are definitly out of the question as they actually draw unwanted attention from twp heirarchy like council members, crime watch etc.  The less they are around the better.  Next thing you know you get labeled a problem bar and there goes your liquor license.  Then your really fucked.

Not hiring any bouncers.  Would definitly bring an atmosphere of a rowdy type place.  We want to stay low key under the radar so to speak.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:16:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:18:30 AM EDT
You could try putting security cameras (even fake ones if they look good) in the hallways and other areas where they are hanging out to sell crack.

Offer free booze to cops. I doubt they're allowed to drink on duty, but maybe you could give them a token good for a free drink when they come back in off duty.  Hang out and look around in uniform for 15-20 minutes = 1 drink.

I agree with the posts that say get rid of the music and drinks the problem customers like/buy.

If you could have a few guys busted in the act, word would get out that your place is not a safe place to do business.  Then again, they just might come back and torch the place.

Play classical music. Street thugs seem to universally hate it.

Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:20:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 1:21:04 AM EDT by tax_monster]
Ok - I saw the post about no cops.

Try cattle prods.  A drug deal is going down, just zap everyone involved.  zap zap zap. drag them outside. Wait for them to wake up. zap zap zap. Wait again for them to wake up. Inform them they aren't welcome at your place.

Who knows, it may work.... :)
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:23:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 1:23:40 AM EDT by Cypher214]
Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Yeah these are black guys mostly mid 20's gang banger, gangsta types.  No real problems but I know there are several that were "feeling out" the place.  

Cops are definitly out of the question as they actually draw unwanted attention from twp heirarchy like council members, crime watch etc.  The less they are around the better.  Next thing you know you get labeled a problem bar and there goes your liquor license.  Then your really fucked.

Not hiring any bouncers.  Would definitly bring an atmosphere of a rowdy type place.  We want to stay low key under the radar so to speak.
View Quote


Then don't hire a bouncer, hire a security guard.  Security guard implies that you just want safety (or the illusion thereof) for your patrons.  

Bouncer = throw drunk guys out

Security Guard = stop a robbery, escort women who are alone to their automobile, etc.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:29:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tax_monster:
Ok - I saw the post about no cops.

Try cattle prods.  A drug deal is going down, just zap everyone involved.  zap zap zap. drag them outside. Wait for them to wake up. zap zap zap. Wait again for them to wake up. Inform them they aren't welcome at your place.

Who knows, it may work.... :)
View Quote


It's not only the shady stuff that goes on like drugs.  In fact that is unavoidable at any bar.  The best you can hope for is that it stays out of sight and doesn't become so prolific that it hurts your business.  But the whole bag of shit that these type drag along hurts business.  Regular folks will steer clear, then you get trouble that gets the powers that be looking at you and then they want to see your books, then you get undercover cops snooping around, fights that get way out of control, hard to get good help behind the bar, the place becomes a "dive".  One problem I face is that I have about a dozen black guys that come in regularly, who are just great guys all around and they spend money, tip well great to talk with, real good guys and they spend money.  All the barmaids like them, they are definitly not a part of the other crowd in fact they make a point to seperate themselves from that element.  I don't want to alienate them.  
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:29:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 1:33:09 AM EDT by raven]
I feel sorry for you, have no idea what you could do without inviting a lawsuit. It's within your rights, as an agent of the owners, to eject people from their property.  If you dont want people in your house, you can throw then out.  Same rule applies in places of businesses.  Make it clear scum are unwated in your bar, hopefully they'll get the message and mosey.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:31:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Cypher214:
Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Yeah these are black guys mostly mid 20's gang banger, gangsta types.  No real problems but I know there are several that were "feeling out" the place.  

Cops are definitly out of the question as they actually draw unwanted attention from twp heirarchy like council members, crime watch etc.  The less they are around the better.  Next thing you know you get labeled a problem bar and there goes your liquor license.  Then your really fucked.

Not hiring any bouncers.  Would definitly bring an atmosphere of a rowdy type place.  We want to stay low key under the radar so to speak.
View Quote


Then don't hire a bouncer, hire a security guard.  Security guard implies that you just want safety (or the illusion thereof) for your patrons.  

Bouncer = throw drunk guys out

Security Guard = stop a robbery, escort women who are alone to their automobile, etc.
View Quote


Different name same duty and same perception.  Seen it done, kills business.  Makes all patrons feel like they are under scrutiny.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 1:41:25 AM EDT
Set an appointment with the local CLEO/Drug Enforcement. Discuss this as a hypothetical situation. If they are interested in doing a raid he will tell you pretty much on the spot.

Then pick a night you know the dealers will be there, and have them raid the bar.

After 1 raid the dealers and buyers will not come back since the place is marked.

That is what one of our local bars did.  But their problem was the meth bikers. I went to school with the bar owners daughter and we used to hang out there during lunch all the time.

After the raid it will take a little time to recoup customers but the worst of the element will be gone so in the end you're better off.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 2:07:07 AM EDT
A woman I know was having this problem at the bar she tended.  Solution= dress code.


No Jerseys(athletic attire), pants above the ass and shirts tucked it.

You are going to need muscle for the first few weeks and then it will all be fine.

Make it a club and charge $10.00 to join might help too.



-HS
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 2:43:46 AM EDT
Only classic country in the jukebox and PBR in the cooler.

That will thin things out.

Maybe line dancing classes too.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 3:30:26 AM EDT
Your problem begins with DEMAND.You have patrons that are drug users and they will attract the seller no matter what.Enforce dress and conduct,one scumbag leads to another, next thing you are running a DUMP.Check with the town that issued the liquor license and ask for assistance, I'm sure they do not want businesses to leave town due to drug and gang activity.For starters, see if you can park a police cruiser out front.[8D]
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 3:36:33 AM EDT
Mandatory ties, classical music, and Rottweilers ...
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 3:44:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kar98:
Mandatory ties, classical music, and Rottweilers ...
View Quote


AHHH, Rotties.Don't forget the pooper scooper,and it is not for the dogs.[;D]
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 5:44:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By M4_Aiming_at_U:
I know there are going to be some gung ho types posting in there saying "shown him your gin and tell him your going to shoot his ass"
View Quote


Be careful. If you show him your gin, he'll want grapefruit juice.

Seriously, if the good customers who are black dress like civilized people, you shouldn't have any problem. The dress code is a good idea.  Do the brand-winnowing. If a good customer wants something you're ditching, keep it under the bar as "private stock." That might actually increase business with the kind of people you want to attract. If some dirtbag asks for Hennessy or whatever, you just tell him "Sorry, that's Mr. Smith's private stock." I'm betting changing the music will work PDQ, too.

You might consider talking to a narcotics detective about the suspected dealing. They can buy off these guys and arrest them later, w/o making your place a public crime scene. Also, bear in mind that in most jurisdictions "tolerating" dope dealing can cost you your license, too. You probably have the right to ban anyone you suspect of dope dealing or other obnoxious behavior (like trashing your bar). Give 'em a written "trespass warning" and the cops will haul them off next time they show up. You might want to discuss that option with the local patrolman. You can exclude people for any reason you want, as long it isn't race or religion. The presence of a half-dozen or so black real citizens at the bar should be enough to prove your good faith.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 6:26:18 AM EDT
I once owned a bar my self. To curb unwanted customers I hired a police officer to work the door. He was a big guy that worked in street clothes. He enjoyed the extra money and I payed him well to keep the people out that I didn't want in my bar. I also implemented a dress code and between the two helped alot. It was funny to know that the only people that knew he was a cop was the people I didn't want in my club.  
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 6:30:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Valkyrie:
Different name same duty and same perception.  Seen it done, kills business.  Makes all patrons feel like they are under scrutiny.
View Quote


If crack dealers feel like they are under scrutiny, they won't stay there.

That is what you want, right?
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 6:47:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FLAL1A:
You might consider talking to a narcotics detective about the suspected dealing. They can buy off these guys and arrest them later, w/o making your place a public crime scene.
View Quote


A lot of jurisdictions have a dedicated narcotics force that can do undercover surveillance and buys.  When I was a prosecutor, I worked closely with our local guys, and they spent a LOT of time (actually, probably more than they had to) hanging out at local "problem" bars.  Once they got an idea of who the players were, they could do buys off them or make arrangements to do business with them off-premises.  Either way, the busts won't be at the bar, and it'll help get the place cleaned up.  The last thing you want is a perception that you're tolerating the activity, because that'll kill the liquor license faster than anything else.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 7:14:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2003 7:15:16 AM EDT by tax_monster]
I think you're going to have a tough time no matter what you do.  I had two clients that ran bars and they did nothing but lose money.  Another client owned some real estate with a bar on it, and the barkeep is perpetually 5 or 6 months behind on rent. (January rent eventually gets paid by July, Feb by Aug, etc.)

They all have the same problem - attracting the good paying customers while keeping the garbage out.  The one that lost the least money was a membership club (Fraternal Order of Eagles).  You had to be a member, and only a current member could sponsor a new member, so it tended to keep the troublemakers out.  If a person got too rowdy, their membership got cancelled.

Regardless, it's going to be tough.  Good luck.


p.s.  zap zap zap. I still like this.
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 7:27:44 AM EDT
Ever thought of a dress code?  
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 7:46:30 AM EDT
Only classic country in the jukebox and PBR in the cooler
View Quote


damn, that was gonna be my answer, well, except for the pabst...........maybe some schlitz? [BD]
Link Posted: 12/30/2003 7:48:48 AM EDT
Dress code, BIG, no caps, no jerseys, sneakers etc...

Kill the Hip-Hop, yup.

Hennessy can go, too.

An off duty or 2 working the door, yup.
Have "random" ID's pulled, like 1 in every 3 or 1 in every 4 etc.("random" yeah[;)]) Avoids/deters lawsuits.

UC's in the bar to observe/survail.  If you go to them before PD comes to you and you "allow" them access, you'll estabish a much better working relationship w/ them, and you'll be more inclined to have PD work w/ you to make off-site arrests, and to keep the entire thing lower-key.  NO RAIDS!!! Those may get news involved, polishittins, etc.

Either way Valkyrie, I hope it works out for ya'.
Good luck, BTW where's the Pub, maybe some of us'll come by, and have a beer.
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