It's a game changer for the Locker Room Sports Bar. Members of City Council and police now praise them for their cooperation and efforts.
A room full of people positively affected by the Locker Room. The Sports Bar owner, Isaac Eastwood addresses the concerns of the City, presenting them with a six pages of it's benefits and cooperation.
Eastwood also notes he was basically blind sided with the City suggesting the liquor license not be renewed. He says he has always had a positive relationship with the Marietta Patrolmen, often asking them if there is anything he could be doing better.
Since hearing the issues, Eastwood says he's made further changes, above and beyond any other bar, including putting an off duty uniformed officer in the bar, at the bars expense. Also better lighting, closing earlier, change of prices, and more security. "We had an off duty officer because of some of these problems. I've tried to implement changes to make sure you guys see I'm not fighting against you, I'm trying to work with you as best as possible, I upped my security from two people to four people walking around the floor."
"I'm willing to lose business, hurt myself as well as my employees some what to show you I'm very serious about this. I want to work with you, whatever the problems may be, I'd be more than happy to address them, I'd be more than happy to work with you and do what's needed."
Since owning the bar, Eastwood does say he have never once had a major liquor law violation or has never been charged with serving underage or being associated with drugs.
"We've never had a major violation in the six years I've had the bar, not once have we ever been found guilty, or even accused of serving to an underage drinker"
"No drugs, I'm not a drug dealer, I've never had a drug offense none of my employees are involved in drugs. In the past I have found employees to have drug involvement, they've been terminated on the spot, there's no wiggle room, there's no nothing. You can't have that in a liquor establishment and I am very strict on that."
Another concern of the Council and Police Department was the number of calls to the Lock Room and the surrounding area, Eastwood says a lot of the calls are him, asking authorities to take care of a problem, before it becomes a bigger one. He says he has always kept a great relationship.
"I've also stopped calling the police for, it seems also the bulk of the calls seemed to be an issue, straining City resources. Many of those calls were directly from me and that's in response to people who just shouldn't be at the bar, they don't know how to act. Sure I could have thrown them out and left it at that and not called the office, but typically I will call down, I'll ask them to come down and notify them that they are never to return and if they do then the Police Department gets another call and I pass criminal trespass calls."
Mayor Matthews and the Marietta City Police says Eastwood has met and discussed the issues with each of them.
The Mayor, Police, and City Council all thanked Eastwood for his cooperation and understand at the meeting. They continued on to say as long as Eastwood keeps his word in working with the city, they would retract their suggestion of not renewing the license.
The Locker Room's Six Page Outline:
The page recognizes the people who are employed by and rely on the Locker Room.
The next few pages includes a list of the local businesses, events, and non-profits the Sports Bar has contributed to in the last year alone. "I'm bringing it up here to you to try and show my involvement with the community and the positive things we do," Eastwood explains to the Council, "the Humane Society, the Eve Shelter, Marietta Day, The Police Department, the Fire Department, Relay for Life, March of Dimes, you can see the list here, these are just a few of the things that we have donated here locally as well as an All Star baseball team."
It also notes the amount of tax dollars the bar brings into the city.
Now the last page, Eastwood addresses the major concerns listed by the Police and Council. First it's noted, since under his management, the bar has never had a single major liquor law violation and on the same note, has never once been accused or convicted of with serving to underage.
The statement reads "As for selling or allowing (turning a blind eye) to underage consumption we most certainly DO NOT! The Locker Room we have ZERO liquor violations for underage drinking or any form of it. Have never been charged with gambling, watering down liquor, shootings, drugs, gang activity."
Eastwood continues on to tell council he and his staff will never tolerate illegal drug use and he says he is confident none of his employees are involved in drugs. He notes a time he called the cops himself recently for people smoking marijuana.
Then is listed recent changes being made to the bar to better suit the community and authorities. The bar has hired an off duty, uniformed officer, to sit in the bar during hours to better regulate, at the bar's cost. Eastwood says they now start closing earlier, have added better lighting, and has gone from two security walking the floor to four walking.
Eastwood again explains his passion for the community and the people who benefit from the bar.
Members of Marietta City Council's planning, zoning, annexation and housing committee agree to request the Locker Room Sports Bar's liquor license to not be renewed.
The Marietta Police Department says in the past five years there have been 966 calls for their service. The next closest in bar calls is less than 250 calls.
"And that doesn't just apply to the bar its self," says Marietta Police Captain, Jeff Waite, "because a lot of the problems we have on Third Street and Greene Street in that general area are associated with things that happened inside the bar and then they end up spilling out."
The Police say they put in a lot of time and resources answering every incident that happens relating to the bar. They also say within the past few weeks an officer broke his thumb in a fight with someone coming out of the Locker Room.
"We put in a good deal of time and effort are in the middle of the night during bar closing time," explains Captain Waite. "They have to be there very close to make sure things stay under control to take care of the citizens that drive through or happen to be walking through."
WTAP News was unable to get in contact with the Locker Room owner.
The Marietta Police say their license is up in February.