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Friday, December 8, 2023

Jimmy’s pub owner appeals Enfield order to High Court


Enfield — owner of Jimmy’s Pub, which has been Since last year, local residents have complained many timeshas appealed to Hartford Superior Court challenging the decision of the Enfield District Appeal Board to uphold the order that the business must cease providing entertainment other than karaoke.

The owners allege that the ZBA’s decision to uphold the cease and desist order was inconsistent with the town’s zoning regulations, Connecticut general statutes, and Connecticut common law. Bar and restaurant owners claimed in their appeal that they were operating under state-issued liquor licenses that allow entertainment.

Some residents who live near the bar have complained about customers making noise in their street, who they say have also exhibited lewd behaviour. In response, the town council instituted a temporary ban on parking for residents only, which is due to end at the end of July. Some residents are calling for a permanent parking ban and for the town to tow vehicles in violation.

Kenneth Bedard and Fred Joseph’s Inc. of Enfield, a joint stock company headquartered in Enfield, owns the Pizza Palace and Jimmy’s Pub at 524 Enfield Street. They were represented by Carl Landolina of Fahey & Landolina of Windsor Locks.

The ZBA was represented by Enfield Township Assistant Prosecutor Mark Cerrato. As of Wednesday, the ZBA had not responded to the complaint or filed to dismiss it.

Cerrato and Landolina did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to the bar owner, a restaurant and liquor establishment has operated at 524 Enfield Street since at least 1987, and state liquor licenses have always included entertainment.

The owners claim in their appeal that the town’s current zoning regulations divide liquor licenses into two categories: those with recreation and those without.

The statutes do not regulate the type of entertainment, the appeal said.

However, the town’s zoning enforcement officer issued a cease and desist order to the property owner on Feb. 21, stating that no entertainment other than karaoke will be allowed at the venue.

The order advises owners to have 10 days to comply. On March 2, the owners appealed the order to the ZBA.

On April 24, ZBA members heard the appeal and voted to uphold the cease and desist order. At that meeting, the owners claimed that while the state liquor license is limited to karaoke as a form of entertainment, local regulations do not limit the types of entertainment a business can enjoy.

Residents of Francis Avenue, who regularly attend town council meetings and complain about loud patrons, say their problems began when Jimmy’s Bar started offering entertainment a few years ago.

Currently, the bar only offers karaoke, but has previously hosted quiz nights and played music videos during the karaoke sessions.

A recent appeal to Hartford Superior Court said Bader, who was informed of the violation of the town ordinance, was an aggrieved party with “personal, specific and legitimate interests that differ from those of the community in general.”

The appeal said the ZBA’s decision had caused “damage” to Bader’s interests, including projected loss of revenue related to the cease and desist order and loss of property rights related to the business’ liquor license.

The appeal concluded that the ZBA’s affirmation of the stop order was “unlawful, arbitrary, unreasonable and an abuse of discretion” and asked the court to overturn the order and award the pub owner appeal costs.


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