By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank nightclub Fixx, the scene of two sprawling street melees earlier this year, will close for 20 days next month under a deal approved by the borough council Wednesday night.
When it reopens, on or after January 21, the West Front Street bar will have to beef up security, report monthly to the police chief and hand over a list of the names of banned or ejected patrons, among other measures, Mayor Pasquale Menna said shortly before the council unanimously approved the deal.
“This demonstrates the seriousness, the severity and, pardon the pun, the sobriety with which the council is looking at this,” Menna said.
The deal settles charges that Fixx “allowed and permitted” two brawls, one in September and one two weeks later, the second of which required the aid of cops from as far away as Keyport and Long Branch to quell.
Under the charges, Fixx faced a closure of up to 40 days.
Bar owner Mike Gilson, of Little Silver, was not present for the vote on the resolution settling the charges. Through a lawyer, he entered a “non vult” plea, or “no contest.”
From the list of conditions the bar agreed to:
a. No music after 1:30 am.
b. All windows and doors are to be closed when music is playing;
c. At all times, a ratio of one security officer to seventy five (75) patrons will be in effect;
d. A minimum of two security staff members will be stationed outside of the property from 1:30 am to the point which the crowd has disbursed to ensure that patrons leave the area in a safe and orderly manner;
e. All floor and security staff will be distinctively and uniformly attired, making them easily identifiable to both patrons and police;
f. Identifying information on ejected and/or arrested patrons will be retained on a “banned list”. These patrons should not be allowed subsequent re-entry;
The conditions “go with the license,” said Council President Art Murphy, meaning that if Gilson were to sell the license, the new owner would also have to adhere to them.
Sharon Lee, in her final appearance as a councilwoman following her loss to Republican Cindy Burnham in November, said the town lacks facilities for younger adults, and “this does give them an opportunity to have a place to party, with some boundaries.”
Separately, the bar still faces charges that it owes the town $33,000 in fines for a tardy response to a fire code violation earlier this year. That matter will be heard in municipal court, Menna said.
Here’s the resolution that lays out the terms of the settlement: RB Fixx settlement 121813