BRUNSWICK, Ga. - The Brunswick City Commission has reversed itself and voted to renew the alcoholic beverage license of a nightclub that police say contributed to a July 5 street brawl that injured several officers and destroyed two patrol cars.
The commission, voting 3-1 Thursday after an impassioned discussion that included critical remarks by Mayor Brad Brown, renewed the license of Club Cache,, but only if club owners Dixie and Thomas McCoy abide by the same set of probationary guidelines set by city officials this year.
The McCoys left the meeting without comment. Earlier, they had assured the commission that they have been doing everything possible to comply with the probationary conditions.
Mayor Pro Tem Doris A. Davis said it was only with reluctance that she was willing to renew the license.
"I voted for something that I didn't really want to do," Ms. Davis said, adding that she would be among the first to vote to revoke the club's license if more problems occur.
Mr. Brown vehemently opposed the renewal, saying that the club already had violated the probationary conditions.
"We did that already for Club Cache when we first put them on probation, and they have failed to comply with the conditions that they had already agreed to follow," he said. "We told them back then that if they didn't follow those conditions that their license would not be renewed."
Those violations, detailed by Police Chief T.C. Cowan, resulted in the commission's Dec. 13 vote to deny renewal of the club's liquor license.
The McCoys, who were told they could appeal that decision, argued Thursday that they have been singled out by police for unfair treatment.
"There have been no problems at our club since the July incident, and that did not occur inside or at our business,"Mr. McCoy said. "And I thought we had already been punished for that."
Mr. McCoy said he and his wife have additional security at the club and taken other measures to eliminate potential problems.
Chief Cowan said police haven't singled out Club Cache. He said it has received the same level of scrutiny as other nightclubs in the city.
Mr. Brown said that by reversing its previous denial and renewing the license, the city was setting a bad precedent.
"You're saying ... that it doesn't make any difference what they do because we're still going to renew their license."
Brunswick police say patrons from Club Cache and the nearby Boilermaker Club contributed to a July 5 melee in which a mob threw bricks, bottles and rocks at officers and burned patrol cars.