WEST FARGO — Awake Lounge won’t appeal the loss of its liquor license after all.
The newly formed West Fargo Liquor License Control Board declined to renew the bar’s liquor license after its first year in business was marked by numerous complaints and police calls, marking the first time the city suspended a liquor license in recent memory.
At a June 17 board meeting, City Attorney John Shockley recommended Awake Lounge’s license not be renewed, and a letter was sent to owner Ritchell Aboah telling her that her application for license renewal was denied.
In addition to the complaints against the bar, Aboah had also missed the deadline to reapply for renewal.
She submitted a letter of appeal to Shockley on June 27 that acknowledged the inconvenience that the noise generated by Awake Lounge had caused nearby residents and the West Fargo Fire Department.
She explained that the bar was in the process of converting to a restaurant specializing in African and Caribbean cuisine.
“If our liquor license will not be renewed, we will not be able to compete with the other excellent restaurants in West Fargo. Our restaurant will not be able to stay afloat or make a profit. This will cause us extreme financial hardship and may force us into bankruptcy,” Aboah wrote.
On July 15, the day of the City Commission meeting when Aboah’s case was scheduled to be heard, she verbally withdrew her appeal.
Because Aboah had not given written notice of her withdrawal and the appeal was already on the meeting’s agenda, the City Commission gave an opportunity for it to be heard anyway, but no one came to represent Awake.