Beta Liquor License Hearing Postponed Over Administrative Error

The city has filed orders against Beta, but it remains open.
The city has filed orders against Beta, but it remains open. Evan Semón
The City of Denver has postponed a planned October 18 administrative hearing regarding the dance cabaret and tavern licenses of Beta Event Center because of an administrative error.

"The matter was continued because there was an administrative error where the prior owners Brad Roulier and Mike McCray were never removed as owners attached to the liquor license. Since an adverse judgment at the hearing could impact them personally, they hired an attorney, James Beimford, who filed a motion for continuance," explains Aaron Acker, the attorney representing Beta owner Valentes Corleons in the hearing process.

The hearing, which stems from a Department of Excise and Licenses Show Cause Order over alleged law and code violations at the nightclub at 1901 Blake Street — including employing unlicensed security guards, poor crowd management and on-site drug dealing — has not yet been reset.

The Show Cause case against Beta is one of two city actions against the nightclub, which is located in a section of LoDo that was the scene of violent events, including shootings, this past spring and summer. On September 26, Judge Beth Faragher of Denver County Court issued a motion granting a temporary restraining order in a case filed by the Denver City Attorney's Office, alleging that Beta had become a public nuisance because of on-site drug dealing and a patron carrying an illegal concealed firearm. Under that order, the club was expected to shut down by the end of the day October 11. Late on October 11, however, attorneys representing Beta and its landlord filed a motion to vacate the temporary restraining order.

"The Movants have attempted to resolve this matter with the City, short of the drastic remedy of closure, but have been provided no proposals for what changes the City believes would be best to achieve its concerns. If the City is going to take actions that will cause extreme hardship and irreparable harm to the Movants, this Court should require a good faith effort of the City to resolve this matter short of closure," attorneys for the law firms of Springer and Steinberg and Foster, Graham, Milstein and Calisher wrote.

A hearing on that motion has not yet been scheduled in Denver County Court.

The Show Cause order is the second one that Beta has received while under the ownership of Corleons, who took over the nightclub not long after it reopened in late 2019 following a year-long closure. In September 2020, Excise and Licenses hit Beta with a Show Cause case, charging that it had violated COVID rules that June. That case ended with a settlement agreement between the city and Beta. Corleons claims that the city has been targeting his clubs, including the now-closed Dorchester Social, because they cater to Black patrons.

Corleons says he plans to keep Beta open — and so far, he's succeeded.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.