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Update: Sangillo's Tavern to Close Forever After Latest Denial of Liquor License

The owners will not appeal the decision again.

Sangillo's decorated festively for Halloween.
Sangillo's decorated festively for Halloween.
Adam H. Callaghan

Update, 2/9/15: The Forecaster heard from owner Dana Sangillo that the bar will not appeal the decision again. Sangillo's Tavern will close for good at the end of service Saturday night, February 14, sure to be a bittersweet Valentine's Day for many.

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Another drink? There might not be many more opportunities for such a courtesy at Sangillo's, which was founded by Adam Sangillo, Sr., in 1966 and could close this month.

The Press Herald reports that on January 16, the tavern was denied its appeal for a liquor license, first rejected narrowly in April 2014 due to concerns about the high volume of police calls to the establishment. Over the course of a year there were nearly two dozen incidents at the bar, ranging from fights to a parking lot shooting in which one man was paralyzed. The bar has a temporary liquor license that's valid until February 26, but it must close or appeal the decision within 30 days, which puts the deadline at Sunday, February 15.

As if its legal troubles weren't enough, the embattled neighborhood drinking hole lost longtime bartender Andrea Lee in November 2014, around the time of its appeal hearings. Lee was 65, and had been at Sangillo's for 37 years, when she died unexpectedly. She was pouring drinks as always mere days before when Johnny Althoff, a longtime local barman himself, led Eater to Sangillo's as the final stop on a Cocktail Week dive bar crawl. Her passing elicited an outpouring of support on Facebook from the community.

Will the Sangillo family appeal the ruling again? Can they convince the authorities that their bar is not a threat to the neighborhood and save Sangillo's? Or is the bar, as bartender John Myers feared, not long for this world?

Sangillo's Tavern

18 Hampshire St, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 879-2810 Visit Website