5 Hoboken bars issued suspensions, ordered to close for LepreCon

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HOBOKEN -

Those who wish to attend Hoboken’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration known as LepreCon may have to make alternate plans after a dozen bars were cited for liquor license violations.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced Friday that 11 bars are being penalized. One bar, 1 Republik, will be forced to close permanently.

The bars were all cited for a variety of violations including overserving, underage drinking and fighting. The mayor say that he makes no apologies for coming down so hard on the bars

MORE: Hoboken mayor explains LepreCon suspensions

"We are becoming a much more family-friendly city,” Bhalla says. “To the partygoers, my message is that there is a new sheriff in town."

Bhalla says that the owners of 1 Republik will have 60 days to try to sell its liquor license to a new owner. He says that the bar will be forced to close due to a history of severe violations.

In December 2016, a 1 Republik employee assaulted a customer outside the bar. The victim, Juan Reinoso of Edgewater, hit his head on the sidewalk -- leaving him with a brain injury. A report from Alcohol and Beverage Control found that, "Other employees left the injured patron on the ground outside of the establishment and did not call for medical assistance."

Four other bars received suspensions and must temporarily close. Hoboken Bar and Grill was given 30 days, Mills Tavern was given 24 days, Green Rock Tap and Grill was issued a 20-day suspension and The Shannon was given a two-day suspension. None of the bars will be permitted to be opened for the LepreCon on March 3.

Birch Bar general manager Gary Yip says that his bar was not cited, but he says that he feels for the owners who were. Yip says that it is not a reputation any bar owner wants.

"No Hoboken bar wants those things to happen. Nobody wants a police officer to get hurt." Yip says.

Bhalla says that he will be bringing in detectives from the ABC as well as all 158 Hoboken police officers to work LepreCon.

“It will help improve the quality of life of Hoboken residents,” says the mayor. “It is unfair to my residents when people trash our town and taxpayers have to pick up the tab."

Officers from North Bergen and Union City will also come in to help.

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