WHITTIER — City officials Tuesday outlined for the City Council their case for revoking the permit that allows Rome Fine Dining to sell alcohol. Police officers and other staff members testified that Rome Fine Dining, formerly known as Ibiza Steak and Lounge, has violated a conditional-use permit issued on Jan. 25. The public hearing was continuing late Tuesday night. Assistant city prosecutor Greg Palmer said many of the violations may seem technical, but they’re not when they happen repeatedly. ??They have over and over violated (the city’s) conditions,” said Palmer. ??They can call it Rome Fine Dining, Club Rome or Ibiza Steak and Lounge, but it’s a nightclub. A nightclub isn’t a permitted use in Uptown Whittier.” Attorneys for Rome Fine Dining have contended in the past that the city was overreacting. Rome Fine Dining co-owner Ralph Verdugo at a July 5 Planning Commission meeting accused the city of being racist, saying that city officials wanted the establishment out of town because it attracts Latinos. Verdugo and Rome Fine Dining, which was called Ibiza Steak and Lounge until last month, were convicted in April 2004 of misdemeanor charges related to a male G-string review the club hosted the previous year. In response to the convictions, the City Council considered revoking the club’s business license, but instead decided to enforce about 60 restrictions noted in the club’s business permit. The new conditions reduced the hours the club could serve liquor, demanded that the club notify the city before any major acts performed and required that all potential club managers go through a background check by the city before they were hired by the club, among other things. These conditions also required Tuesday’s review. During the presentation, police officers and other city officials told the council that Rome Fine Dining hasn’t provided videos as required, built an elevated platform without getting permits from the city and doesn’t provide needed outdoor security. Capt. Kenton Rainey said that after a shooting on April 17, Rome Fine Dining never supplied a surveillance video. ??It impacted a pending criminal investigation,” Palmer said. ??(The video) could have been the investigative lead needed to be followed up. It could be that the shooter had a confrontation with the victim on the inside.” During the June 20 Planning Commission, Verdugo said that he believes he and his employees are doing a good job of providing security and that he has turned away patrons and business opportunities to comply with the city’s conditions. He also said that other businesses in Uptown would be hurt if Rome Fine Dining closed. Mike Sprague can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022, or by e-mail at [email protected] AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second right), converses with Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland (right) during a meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday (September 25). Looking on are Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Ann Scott (left); and Jamaica’s Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Courtenay Rattray.
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