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City Council Votes 5-4 to Deny Sangillo's Liquor License

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Sangillo's. [Photo: Yelp]

The Portland City Council voted last night to deny the liquor license renewal for Sangillo's Tavern, the iconic dive bar that's had a high number of police calls in the past year. After hours of discussion that stretched over two meetings, the council made its decision in a split 5-4 vote. Councilors Suslovic, Donoghue, Marshall and Hinck, along with Mayor Brennan, voted to follow the recommendation of the police and deny the license, while Councilors Leeman, Duson, Mavodones and Coyne voted to approve it.

Duson also made a motion to delay the vote once again to give the bar a chance to work out a plan with the police to address the issues, but that motion was defeated by the same 5-4 vote. All is not lost, though, for the bar. According to the Press Herald, it plans to appeal the decision to the state and can remain open in the meantime. The Portland attorney said there is a backlog at the state level, so an ultimate verdict will likely not come for months.

Sangillo's has a long history in Portland. It was opened by an Italian immigrant over 60 years ago. Police have said that the bar was never a trouble spot until the past year when police were called numerous times to the area for incidents that included a shooting outside that left a man paralyzed. The police made the case that servers at the bar were under trained and management was often absent at night, creating a dangerous environment. Changes enacted by the bar to address the issues were too little, too late for the majority of the councilors. Now, it's up to the state liquor board to decide whether the decision will be upheld.
· Portland Council Denies Liquor License for Sangillo's [PPH]
· All Save Sangillo's Coverage [~EMAINE~]

Sangillo's Tavern

18 Hampshire St, Portland, ME 04101