WEST FARGO — The newly formed West Fargo Liquor License Control Board will not renew a license for the Awake Lounge after its first year in business was marked by numerous complaints and police calls.
City Attorney John Shockley recommended the license not be renewed at the board’s June 17 meeting, and a letter was sent to owner Richell Aboah telling her that her application for license renewal was denied.
City spokesperson Melissa Richard said Shockley cited “numerous city ordinance violations that were in direct connection to the operation of the business.”
“That was including a guilty plea and several pending charges for loud party or noisy party,” Richard said.
Aboah also missed the application for renewal deadline, Shockley said.
Aboah will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol starting July 1. She can appeal the board’s decision to the City Commission, which she has said she plans to do. A phone message left for Aboah was not immediately returned Friday, June 21.
Aboah opened the Awake Lounge at 1410 9th St. E., Suite 501, in June 2018. The City Commission unanimously approved Aboah's license but initially had denied her application citing previous contact with police as a concern.
As part of the liquor license application, police checked Aboah's background and found she was a victim of several domestic disturbance calls in 2015 and had called police regarding violations of restraining orders against two acquaintances. She was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct in 2016.
In November, the bar was closed for two weeks after the City Commission suspended her license for 14 days. At that time, Shockley said the bar had received 23 complaints of a loud party or loud noise between July 29 and Oct. 29.
It was the first time the city suspended a liquor license in recent memory.
Aboah appeared at a City Commission meeting in fall 2018 to ask for help in mediating the noise complaints and said she’d spent $6,000 on soundproofing the building and taken other measures to alleviate the noise.
The city of West Fargo created a five-person board in May to review and approve or deny liquor license applications.