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Unanimous vote means Danny’s Lounge owner must fight to stay open

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WEST ALLIS -- The future of Danny's Lounge, a West Allis bar near 60th and Burnham is at a crossroads. The owner wants the bar to stay open, while police and some city leaders want it closed following two recent violent incidents, and complaints from neighbors. Tuesday night, the West Allis Common Council's License and Health Committee met, and their decision means days could be numbered for Danny's Lounge, if improvements are not made.

With a unanimous vote, the West Allis committee took the first step Tuesday toward shutting down Danny's Lounge. The bar's owner, Danny Seiy, must now attend a hearing where he'll fight to keep his doors open.

"We've had 12 years of problem taverns at that location, and it's time to take the taverns out of that location. I'm holding officers over on overtime -- four officers a night, until they close," West Allis Police Chief Michael Jungbluth said.

Seiy has owned Danny's Lounge for two years. Police say problems at the location go back further than two years, but say this year has been the worst to date.

A West Allis police report says almost 600 people gathered outside Danny's Lounge early Wednesday morning, August 22nd. When police tried to break up the crowd, police say some resisted. One person reportedly jumped on an officer's back. The police report indicates officers recovered a pistol someone dropped as they fled the scene.

Alderman Michael Czaplewski chairs the License and Health Committee. The committee could revoke the bar's license.

"My main concern is someone's going to die. There's going to be someone getting killed. It is his business. What do you weigh his business over somebody's life? That's unacceptable," Alderman Czaplewski said.

Alderman Czaplewski cites not only Wednesday's incident, but another on Saturday in which someone fired shots at a car following a hit and run.

In addition, the police report cites a July 14th incident where a man was found unconscious after a fight involving people who were in the bar.

On July 1st, police cited another fight and a large crowd gathering outside Danny's Lounge.

Police data shows over 120 calls for service in 2012 alone.

The owner of Danny's Lounge told FOX6 News he is working on a proposal to present to police and aldermen that he hopes will change the situation. He hopes they accept his proposal and allow him to continue operating his business.

"It would have to be one heck of a proposal because as far as I'm concerned and the calls I've gotten and emails I've gotten not only from people living around the bar but people living in the entire area they're tired of it," Alderman Czaplewski said.

The bar's attorney, Vince Bobot says they'll be taking steps to stop the violence, like changing the bar's advertising, only opening its doors on Fridays and Saturdays and no longer playing Top 40 music.

"Like State Fair, my client has come back with a very aggressive proactive plan to operate lawfully in the future and not to have problems for people in West Allis. It can be solved. He can work with police," Bobot said.

Danny's Lounge's next-door neighbor also wants the bar permanently closed.

"There is trash, debris, broken glass, empty liquor bottles, urinating in the alley, urinating in my yard," Dan Schaffer said.

Alderman Czaplewski said if they revoke the license for Danny's Lounge, it won't likely be given to another owner. West Allis is already above its quota for liquor licenses, so getting approval for another corner bar would be difficult.

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