Citizens applauded Wednesday as the City Council voted unanimously to revoke the business and liquor licenses of El Norteno, 2741 S. State - the site of numerous after-hour fights and disturbances.
The business was issued a 24-hour cease and desist order effective 9 p.m. Wednesday.Business owners and residents have complained about the loud noise and fighting that has occurred in El Norteno's parking lot after closing hours. South Salt Lake police have responded to more than 80 complaints since March.
Sgt. Van Midgley told the council he has requested police back-up from Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City to disperse the crowds that have numbered anywhere from 400 to 500 people.
"I've seen the security guards huddled in a corner because they were terrified," Midgley said. "We've had to request 20 or 30 units to help us control the crowd."
Dan Carey, owner of the Carey Building, located just north of El Norteno, said he has lost business tenants because of beer cans and trash that have been left in his parking lot from El Norteno customers. Carey told the council if it did not prohibit this type of action, his building would be empty in six months.
"We have suffered one full year," Carey said. "We don't want to wait one more hour. Why should we have to suffer one more night?"
Attorney Roy Johnson, representing the owner of El Norteno, Cruz Martinez, said the actions that have been taking place at the bar are intolerable. Still, he requested a six-month trial period in which Martinez would attempt to alleviate the problems.
Johnson told the council that Martinez felt the bar was too close to a residential area and would consider finding another location if the six-month trial period were granted. Johnson said Martinez was also willing to hire more security guards that would patrol the parking lot after the 2 a.m. closing time to keep noise and violence from disturbing nearby residents.
Councilman Randy Fitts told Johnson it is unfair to force others to tolerate late-night noise.
"Business people and residents shouldn't have to make sacrifices because of another business," Fitts said.