Liquor Control Commission Denies Liquor Permit Renewal for Lazy Lizard Café in New Haven
Commission upholds remonstrance filed by New Haven residents
“We will not tolerate establishments that turn a blind eye to the safety of their patrons,” said Governor Malloy. “If violence becomes a problem, the owners have a responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure that the proper security is in place. Actions like this by the department are not undertaken lightly, and I commend Commissioner Rubenstein for sending the message that the state will not sit idly by when acts of violence happen in bars and nightclubs.”
“A permit to serve alcohol is a privilege, not a right,” Commissioner Rubenstein said. “Permittees are required to ensure orderly behavior in their establishments in order to assure public safety and welfare. In this instance, the Liquor Control Commission found that the Lazy Lizard Café failed to meet this important obligation and that revocation of the permit was warranted. Our liquor laws will continue to be administered to make certain that liquor establishments are not disruptive to the communities that they serve.”
A formal administrative hearing was held before the Liquor Control Commission on March 27, 2014. At the hearing, the agency heard testimony from New Haven residents and police officials, objecting to the renewal of this venue’s liquor permit, citing violations of the Liquor Control Act, including violence within the premises. The Department also heard testimony from Maria Delmonaco, one of the owners of Lazy Lizard Café, and New Haven Police Sergeant Tammy Means and Assistant Police Chief Luiz Casanova.
In a written submission to the Department, New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman objected to renewal of the permit, citing a May 18, 2013 shooting incident which stemmed from a dispute inside the café premises. Assistant Chief Casanova testified about the “huge brawl” that had occurred inside the café before the shooting outside.
The Department of Consumer Protection, through the State Liquor Control Commission, oversees all sales of liquor in the State of Connecticut. As Commissioner of Consumer Protection, Rubenstein is Chairman of the Liquor Control Commission. A copy of the legal decision is here.