The City Council on Monday held the first of two hearings to determine whether the Thunderbird nightclub should be allowed to continue operating.
In June, 1994, the club, then known as the Bacchus, lost its use permit because of frequent complaints of noise, fights and public drunkenness.
After a management change, city gave the new operator six months to make improvements.
The club, on Via Oporto, reopened as the Thunderbird in November. The six-month review was postponed in April because of more pressing council business.
Thunderbird attorney Michael Montgomery and City Atty. Robert Burnham questioned three Newport Beach police officers for more than two hours Monday.
The officers testified that the club is still plagued by problems.
But Montgomery said the Thunderbird is the victim of its earlier reputation.
"There may have been a predetermination that this was not a good place," he told the council. "There may be a hangover from Bacchus."
Witnesses for the club will testify at the second part of the hearing next month.