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Liquor license suspended at Jake’s on 4th in downtown Olympia

Jake’s on 4th, a popular downtown bar and dancing venue in downtown Olympia, has temporarily lost the use of its liquor license, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.
Jake’s on 4th, a popular downtown bar and dancing venue in downtown Olympia, has temporarily lost the use of its liquor license, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. Rolf Boone

Jake’s on 4th, a popular bar and dance venue in downtown Olympia, has temporarily lost the use of its liquor license, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The agency posted the suspension notice on the front door of the business at 311 Fourth Ave. E.

According to the state, the license was suspended for the “sale or service (of alcohol) to (an) apparently intoxicated person.”

The suspension took effect at 10 a.m. Wednesday and lasts through 10 a.m. June 20, according to the notice — meaning the bar will be open for the annual Capital City Pride celebration.

Jake’s owner Rob Cameron said Thursday the suspension is the first in the history of the bar, which opened in August 2004.

“The last thing I want to do is over-serve and see someone get hurt,” he said.

Cameron is closing the bar during the suspension, and said he will take the opportunity to spruce the place up, but the adjacent hot dog stand will remain open. He said he is concerned that his 13 full-time employees are out of work.

Although this might be the first liquor-license suspension in the history of the business, a spokeswoman for the liquor control board said Thursday this is the third liquor-related violation in two years for the bar. However, Stephanie Davidsmeyer couldn’t speak to whether it was a third violation for over-serving.

Cameron believes the business got tripped up by a technicality.

Two men in February were drinking in the bar, he said. One of those men was cut off and was no longer being served, while his friend ordered a beer and another drink. The man who was cut off then grabbed the beer and took it to a pinball machine where he spilled it.

Meanwhile, a liquor control enforcement officer, apparently in the bar at the time, made their finding, he said.

However, Davidsmeyer said the action was the result of a routine check of the bar, not something that was prompted by a complaint.

Cameron strongly defended the way he runs his bar.

“I run a super-tight ship here,” he said. He said he never has problems in the bar, although he can’t say that for the block or immediate area. Police often respond to the area for problems unrelated to the bar, he said.

“I take it super seriously,” he said about the bar operations. “I want people to be safe.”

He said he opened the business 15 years ago so that queer people could feel safe “to be themselves and not have to worry about what other people are thinking.”

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