The owners of the Rose Garden bar in Lake City Way have apparently decided to sell their business, rather than fight the city's attempts to shut down the bar.
According to Seattle Police, the Rose Garden—located in the neighborhood referred to by police as "Little Beirut" on Lake City Way—had become a dangerous haven for drug dealers in the area. In 2008, police responded to 10 different assaults at the Rose Garden, including one incident where a patron was ejected and later returned to the bar with an axe. Undercover narcotics officers also made several visits to the bar and were able to purchase crack from customers and one employee at the Rose Garden.
Neighbors have pointed to the bar as a source of problems in the area, and last week, the city filed an objection to the Rose Garden's liquor license renewal. Rather than appeal the city's decision, the bars owners—one of whom is a Drug Enforcement Agency agent—have put the property up for sale.
From the listing:
Available immediately. Ideal for restaurant or retail. 73 feet of frontage along busy Lake City Way. Seller financing with substantial down.
Currently vacant. Used to be the Rose Garden Lounge, but the city will not grant a liquor license. High visibility. Ideal for restaurant or retail. Sellers will consider financing strong buyer
The bar is currently priced at $400,000.
UPDATE: There's some concern in the neighborhood that a buyer could simply assume control of the Rose Garden and keep running a problem bar. However, according to Assistant City Attorney Ed McKenna, "[they] can certainly attempt to sell the license, but it is highly likely the city would oppose anyone who was going to assume the liquor license."
McKenna says that as far the city's concerned, the Rose Garden is "so entrenched with criminal activity that it is unlikely any [buyer] would be able to control" any criminal activity there.
Photos by Kelly O