He may be striking out with the town council. But Iron Bar owner Jimmy Cavanaugh is batting 1.000 with the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Once again, the state has stayed alcohol curfews on Cavanaugh’s adjoining Revolution bar — as it has done ever since the town imposed them in 2016.
Closing the taps at 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays and at 11:30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and storing trash and recyclables inside the South Street building, are special conditions with “no factual basis.”
They could cause “irreparable injury” to Cavanaugh, according to a temporary order signed last month by James Graziano, acting director of the ABC.
“It’s the sixth stay. The town has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Cavanaugh told MorristownGreen.com.
Speaking for the council, town Attorney Vij Pawar, replied:
“We do not have any comments due to pending litigation. However, please note that the issues involved in this matter have state-wide implications.”
Over the years, town officials have cited neighbors’ complaints about late-night disturbances by drunken bar patrons.
Lawyers recently presented arguments in the town’s appeal of a 2018 state administrative court ruling that sided with Cavanaugh.
Morristown also is defending a civil suit by Cavanaugh alleging personal animus by his former pal, Mayor Tim Dougherty, and former Council President Stefan Armington.
The town has denied those accusations.
Cavanaugh, a former Essex County Freeholder and owner of a construction business, cited federal racketeering laws in that suit.
“Hundreds of residents” have complained at council meetings about downtown bars, Councilwoman Alison Deeb said last month, when the council unanimously re-imposed the curfews.
They are renewal conditions for the liquor license shared by the Iron Bar and Revolution.
Other bars in town may serve alcohol until 2 a.m.
The Iron Bar and Revolution have no liquor law violations, countered Cavanaugh’s attorney, Robert C. Williams.
Responding to public concerns, the town council rejected Cavanaugh’s bid two years ago to expand the Iron Bar’s liquor license to a third storefront, for a proposed Mexican restaurant.
The state’s latest stay remains in effect for this one-year license period, unless the town proves the curfews are necessary.