Home World Dolton bar sues over business license not renewed

Dolton bar sues over business license not renewed


Dolton bar sues over business license not renewed

A Dolton bar is suing the village in federal court, saying it has been denied renewal of its business and liquor licenses because it didn’t contribute to Mayor Tiffany Henyard’s first mayoral election campaign.

The village contends, however, that Pablo’s Cafe and Bar is a nuisance and the subject of numerous police calls since it opened four years ago.

It has been closed by the village on multiple occasions and was recently shut after a shooting incident, Lewis Lacey, Dolton’s deputy police chief, said at Monday’s Village Board meeting.

Pablo’s isn’t the first Dolton liquor license holder to go to court over renewal of permits, and others have had success in the courts.

The village’s Izaak Walton League and a separate business, Lacey’s Place, were able to get their licenses renewed by the village after filing lawsuits.

The complaint by Pablo’s was filed March 1 and seeks unspecified damages, and the village has until May 13 to file a response, according to court filings.

Pablo’s, 1115 Sibley Blvd., opened in early March 2020 and its business license expired at the end of April 2023, according to the lawsuit.

It also has a liquor license issued by the state due to lapse in February 2025, and Pablo’s has video gambling and said in the lawsuit a state gaming license will expire at the end of this year.

Pablo’s filed in mid-April of last year for a renewal of its licenses with the village, but since then was told multiple times the request was under review, according to the lawsuit.

On July 5, 2023, a village inspector called George Mseeh, a manager of Pablo’s, to inform him that he needed to clear the bar as police were on their way because the business did not have an active license.

According to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, the license for Pablo’s is active and in the name of Mseeh’s wife, Nadia.

On the day of the phone call, police arrived about 20 minutes later and told George Mseeh they were shutting the business down because it lacked a local liquor license, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says that Mseeh and his wife went to Dolton Village Hall each day after July 6 to ask about the license matter, and that Pablo’s filed an appeal to the closing with the state liquor commission.

Mseeh spoke at a July 17, 2023, Dolton Village Board meeting and told Henyard and trustees that license renewals for the business were approved without issue in 2021 and 2022.

“You have all my paperwork since April,” Mseeh told officials. “When can I have a definite answer and get my place back open?”

The lawsuit contends that Henyard or representatives had sought campaign donations for the mayor’s initial run, that the business did not contribute and that Henyard and her administration have a pattern and practice of not renewing or revoking business and/or liquor licenses “from her political rivals, those she views as disloyal and/or those who did not donate to her mayoral campaign or foundation.”

In laying out its case to revoke the bar’s license, the village said Pablo’s is a nuisance and that a “disparate amount of municipal resources” have been devoted to it compared with other parts of the community, according to a court filing.

The village cited instances of police response including fights among large groups of people, but it was not clear whether those took place in the business. Pablo’s is in a strip center where other businesses are located, and it contends many of the calls were not connected to the bar’s operation.

Lacey did not respond to a message left Wednesday seeking more information about the shooting that resulted in the most recent closure of Pablo’s.

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