A liquor license official just issued a resounding "Fuck you" to the City of Golden and a handful of condo owners by deciding that the venerable Buffalo Rose bar and co-owner Murray Martinez didn't violate state liquor laws this past August when Martinez sang "Fuck the condo people" to the tune of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."
Martinez, who has battled both the city and residents of the nearby Gateway Station condominium complex over loud music and other issues for years, sang the lyrics because he got frustrated on a summer night when the police visited his establishment multiple times, he explained. But after he belted out those lines, he got even more complaints.
In fact, three condo owners complained to the city that they had been offended; Golden, in turn, tried to have the Buffalo Rose's liquor license revoked -- or at least suspended.
But in a detailed, 29-point order released on December 29, Kendra Carberry, an administrative hearing officer for the Golden Local Licensing Authority, determined that the Buffalo Rose hadn't violated the Colorado Liquor Code and should therefore not be punished.
"The authority finds that Mr. Martinez's statements were not offensive to the senses of the average citizen," Carberry opined in one particularly amusing section (see the entire thing below).
"Ms. Latour, Ms. Hildebrand and Mr. Moos all testified that they were offended by the content of the statements, not the loudness of the statements. As such, their sense of hearing could not have been offended. There was no evidence that any activity that occurred at the Buffalo Rose on August 17, 2010, was odiferous, or that any witness observed any conduct that was visually offensive. As such, the residents' sense of smell and sight were not affected by Mr. Martinez's statements. There was no evidence of offensive touching or tasting," Carberry continued.
"As such, the authority finds that the activity that occurred at the Buffalo Rose on August 17, 2010, was not 'offensive to the senses' of the average citizen."
Although Buffalo Rose attorney David Lane had hoped to turn the case into a referendum on the First Amendment, he was satisfied by the outcome. Carberry "tailored her order very narrowly, saying the statute wasn't violated," Lane says. "We would have liked an opinion saying it was all First Amendment-protected, but we are happy that she came out with the correct result."
And so what should the Buffalo Rose -- which has a noise meter that turns red when the volume of the music is too loud -- do to celebrate? "They should have a 'Fuck the Condo People' night every Tuesday," Lane says. And furthermore, he continues, the City of Golden "needs to understand that not every business needs to be a cute little antiques shop. Fuck the condo people, and fuck the City of Golden."
Sounds like a karaoke hit in the making.