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Article updated: 11/20/2012 5:30 AM

BlackFinn regains late-night liquor permit in Naperville

By Justin Kmitch

Sanctions against Naperville's BlackFinn American Saloon were lifted Monday after a weekend free of police calls and liquor violations.

Mayor George Pradel, who also serves as the city's liquor commissioner, said he reinstated the late-night permit after confirming with both police and city prosecutors that the bar did not have any problems during the weekend.

A hostess answering the telephone at the bar Monday confirmed BlackFinn "is back to regular hours."

Pradel on Thursday levied a $1,000 fine against the bar and suspended BlackFinn's late-night liquor permit for seven days in response to four liquor code violations. He agreed to lift the suspension on Monday if the bar made it from Friday through Sunday without additional violations.

The late-night permit allows the establishment to serve alcohol from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Pradel said the bar was extra careful to avoid trouble over the weekend.

"I know they called last-call at 10 p.m. and had everyone out of there by 10:45 p.m. We had them running scared and they wanted to make sure nothing happened," Pradel said. "But make no mistake, our police department will be watching them like a hawk in the coming days and weeks to make sure BlackFinn tows the mark in every way."

The sanctions were handed out following a nearly two-week investigation into the establishment's recent violations of four sections of the city's liquor code. The bar at 16 E. Jefferson Ave. has gained a troublesome reputation after being the scene of several violent fights, including a stabbing last year, and an increasing number of police calls.

Police Sgt. Lou Cammiso confirmed that calls were down across all of downtown Naperville this past weekend and, specifically, there were no calls or arrests associated with BlackFinn.

Pradel said he was happy that downtown was relatively quiet.

"All of those BlackFinn patrons went to other places and we had no problems," he said. "That makes me feel very good about the decision I made."

As part of the agreement with the city, BlackFinn also has agreed to have all its security staff receive local Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training and to install an ID checker in the next 30 days. The bar will install security cameras within a year.

BlackFinn Operations Manager Lenny Skorcz did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

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