Denver is once again poised to strip the liquor and dance cabaret licenses of a Blake Street nightclub, this time following a fatal shooting inside the club early on New Year’s Day.
A hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday to consider whether liquor and cabaret licenses should be revoked or suspended for The Cabin Tap House at 1919 Blake St.
The city alleges ownership failed to provide adequate security to prevent fighting inside the business and the subsequent shooting, which left two people dead.
The club also was operating with an invalid license that had not completely transferred to the new owner, according to the city.
According to the department, a fight broke out at the nightclub sometime around midnight on New Year’s Eve, which left at least one man bleeding from the head. Security footage revealed the same people involved in the fight were involved in the shooting.
The city of Denver shut the club down later that same day.
Cabin opened this past summer, in what was previously home to Falling Rock Tap House. It was established by Hussam Kayali, who also owns the adjacent Beta Nightclub, which had its licenses revoked last week following similar concerns over inadequate security.
Kayali told BusinessDen last week he no longer owned the Cabin business at the time of the shooting.
According to a “show cause” order from Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses, at the time of the shooting, Cabin’s licenses were in the process of being transferred from Kayali to Thomas Schaefer. Schaefer told Denver police he purchased the business from Kayali a few weeks earlier.
“According to Schaefer, he agreed to allow Kayali’s employees to continue to operate The Cabin while he learned the business,” the order says.
The order stated Hightower Security provided services at The Cabin on Jan. 1, “with oversight by Chris Vitale.” Vitale was a manager at Beta, and a witness during the hearing over its licenses in November.
At the hearing, a city-hired mediator will hear the arguments from the city and club ownership, then make a recommendation to the director of Excise and Licenses, who will make the final decision.
Currently that position is held by interim director Molly Duplechian, who was recently nominated to head the department by Mayor Michael Hancock after Ashley Kilroy stepped down Jan. 7.