Chili Don's, a downtown Long Beach beer and chili parlor popular among the city's homeless people, has had its liquor license suspended for 45 days, a result of charges by the state office of Alcoholic Beverage Control that the establishment's management was operating a disorderly house.
The charges cite 113 instances during a 28-month period ending two years ago in which the Long Beach Police Department arrested bar patrons for public drunkenness. Bar owner Don Perry has said that the arrests are part of a systematic pattern of harassment by police designed to improve the image of downtown Long Beach by permanently removing Chili Don's.
A recent appeal failed to prevent the ABC from suspending the bar's license to sell liquor until April 20. "In the meantime, we're just trying to keep our heads above water," said manager Bill Barber, adding that the bar has reduced its hours of operation during the suspension period. "We've had to lay off most of our bartenders," Barber said.