Updated after hearing:
- Lure petitioners collected 133 signatures. 83 were ruled invalid by liquor control, leaving the 50 total.
- Lure owners have been claiming some signatures were coerced.
- Hearing was adjourned and rescheduled for Dec. 15 at 9:30 a.m. There is concern with the validity of a particular signature and judge wants the witness there live.
If anyone following the proceedings is interested, the ordinance governing protest petitions is 68536.
Back in September, Judge Margaret Walsh, pinch-hitting for the city's liquor commissioner Robert Kraiberg, ruled that the city of St. Louis had produced enough evidence to show that Club Lure was responsible for littering, loitering, gunshots and other violence on Washington Ave.
The order was effective Oct. 17. The owners of Club Lure appealed, but then closed the club and reopened it, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in the same location but as Club Amnesia.
Today, though, the license comes under fire again. A group of residents of downtown St. Louis launched essentially a petition drive to accomplish the same goal as the city: get the club shut down.
Their efforts came under fire at first because The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis was circulating the petitions. A judge ordered them to stop, and a group of citizens who live in and around the building where Lure is located took over the efforts.
Here's how mayoral spokeswoman Kara Bowlin explains the hearing:
Judge Walsh will first hear evidence from an Excise Liquor Control Officer regarding the validity of the submitted signatures to see if either majority was attained. After that initial testimony, both the protest representative and the Lure camp will have an opportunity to present legal objections and argument regarding the validity of the signatures. Once all the evidence is presented, I presume Judge Walsh will take the matter under advisement and make a timely ruling thereafter. The decision is objective in nature in that if the protest representative attains one of the requisite majorities, the protest will be sustained and Lure will have its liquor license revoked. If neither majority is met, the protest will be denied.
Bowlin says the losing side has 30 days to appeal.