January 23, 2022

Hearing date set for Denver bar that was closed after shooting

The Cabin Tap House was shut down by the city after a shooting there that killed two people.

DENVER — A Denver bar shut down by the city after a deadly shooting must make its case next week for why it shouldn’t remain closed. 

The city’s Department of Excise and Licenses suspended The Cabin Tap House’s liquor and standard cabaret licenses and prohibited it from operating after two people were killed and two others were injured at the bar early on New Year’s Day.

RELATED: Two killed in shooting at LoDo bar identified

The complaint says Thomas Schaefer told a detective with the Denver Police Department three days after the shooting that he had purchased The Cabin from the previous owner, Hassam Kayali, a few weeks earlier. But at the time of the shooting, the complaint says, Schaefer’s temporary permit application was still pending, and Kayali continued to act as the owner/manager.

Schaefer said he agreed to allow Kayali’s employees to continue to operate The Cabin while he learned the business, according to the complaint. 

Kayali also owned Beta Nightclub, which was ordered to close last week after police discovered cocaine was being used and sold, the club appeared to be over capacity, there were frequent fights in the club, people were served after the 2 a.m. last call and that Beta did not hire a licensed security company.  

RELATED: City permanently closes Beta Nightclub for illegal activity, code violations

The complaint alleges The Cabin’s ownership allowed people to fight on the premises, failed to report a fight that preceded the shooting to police, and allowed the people involved to stay. It also says the owners could not provide sufficient security to prevent the shooting.

It also says ownership and management were transferred without the necessary process and approval from Excise and Licenses. The business was allowed to operate without a valid temporary permit or dance cabaret license.

A show cause hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. A Denver hearing officer will oversee a virtual hearing, hear testimony and receive evidence before issuing a recommended decision on the business near 19th and Blake streets, according to a release from Excise and Licenses.

The release said the department’s interim executive director will later issue a final decision in the case after reviewing the recommended decision as well as evidence and testimony.

RELATED: Denver shuts down bar after deadly shooting

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