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Judge decides Wausau bar's fate

by
I.C. Willy's owner Tom Nowell
I.C. Willy's owner Tom Nowell

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A Marathon County judge has upheld Wausau's decision to not renew I.C. Willy's liquor license last summer.

“The court ultimately finds that there was sufficient evidence before the city that would allow it to reasonably not renew,” Judge Greg Grau ruled Wednesday. Grau also ruled that bar owners failed to present enough evidence showing that the city treated them differently than other bars.

Attorney Ryan Lister immediately promised an appeal.

“With all due respect to Judge Grau, we disagree with his decision,” Lister said, speaking on behalf of owners Tom and Susie Nowell.

Lister maintains that the city failed to properly notify the bar of each allegation that it would consider in its non-renewal hearing. He also maintains that the bar was properly zoned to allow a certain level of noise.

The City Council voted June 30th not to re-issue the license because of citations for disturbing the peace and serving underage minors.

“I was confident in the action that the city took initially and in the process that it followed,” said alderwoman Lisa Rasmussen, who chairs the public health and safety committee that initiated the non-renewal hearing. “The court re-affirmed that today and I'm very pleased with that decision.”

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