Illegal drug activity and multiple felony arrests at Shamrocks Grille & Pub in Chino Hills have resulted in the suspension of its liquor license and a permanent ban on alcohol sales.
Alcohol will no longer be sold as of Nov. 8.
The announcement was made by assistant city manager Ben Montgomery during Tuesday’s Chino Hills City Council meeting.
The district attorney has filed criminal complaints against two former employees of Shamrocks who are alleged to have sold narcotics to undercover officers from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to City Attorney Mark Hensley.
Shamrocks is located at 4020 Chino Hills Parkway, in the Big Lots shopping center.
The Chino Hills Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation that began in January 2017 and is still active, said Capt. John Walker.
The police determined there have been numerous illegal activities associated with Shamrocks, he said.
They include assault with a deadly weapon, battery with serious injury, under the influence of a controlled substance, commercial burglary, disturbing the peace, public intoxication, driving under the influence, battery, and resisting a peace officer.
He said the Chino Hills Police Department has responded to more than 200 calls for service related to Shamrocks since January 2017.
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, known as the ABC, filed an accusation against the bar for operating a “disorderly premises” that was a drain on law enforcement resources, spokesman John Carr said.
Beginning Nov. 8, there will be an indefinite suspension of the license up to 180 days to allow the transfer of the license to a different owner at a different location, according to Mr. Carr.
If the license is not transferred during that time, ABC will revoke Shamrocks’ license, he said.
Shamrocks may stay open during the suspension period, but alcohol cannot be served or sold, Mr. Carr added.
Mr. Carr said the owner of the business signed a stipulation and waiver agreement earlier this month.
The owner is Jesus Patricio Sarabia, Jr., according to ABC’s license database. He is president of Ebony & Ivory, Inc.
Shamrocks employees would not allow the Champion to interview patrons Tuesday night, and did not wish to comment. The manager, who was not present, did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Last fall, residents who live on Cherry Drive, just west of the bar, attended council meetings asking that something be done about the noise and nuisance issues.
Residents said they called the Chino Hills Police Department numerous times over the years because of the noise, loud music, bottles thrown in yards, and drunk patrons driving on Cherry Drive.
City manager Rad Bartlam stated in a press release issued by the City of Chino Hills on Wednesday that an active investigation by the Chino Hills Police Department and the city’s code enforcement division was underway prior to the residents’ appearance at the council meeting.
The Chino Hills Police informed ABC about the results of its investigation which prompted ABC to launch its own investigation, according to Mr. Bartlam.
John P. Newton, attorney for ABC, stated in the city’s press release that the agency’s partnership with the Chino Hills city attorney and Chino Hills Police Department was an effective way to address the problem.
He said he hoped to use this type of partnership in the future, on a statewide basis.