LCC warns Blue Jay bar about underage drinking problems

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 18:18:40-04

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission warns the owner of the Blue Jay Bar and Grill that they need to do more to prevent minors from drinking there.  The bar is located just off the Creighton University campus.

Tuesday, the LCC reviewed a new manager’s application for the establishment.

Commissioner Bob Batt and Executive Director Hobert Rupe say they've personally received almost one dozen complaints from parents.  Rupe says in the last two years there have been more issues with people getting into the Blue Jay while underage than with all O Street bars in Lincoln.

Batt says mothers are begging him to shut them down because their minor children are getting extremely intoxicated, and they're worried about their safety.  One incident included a 19-year-old girl fracturing her skull when she fell off a 10-foot balcony.

"Your bar is showing up more than anybody in Omaha let alone Lincoln.  And I get tired of hearing these complaints, and the heat is on, and we want to do this before you kill somebody," Batt told the owner of the Blue Jay.

The bar's co-owner James Stapleton says he's taking over managerial operations, hiring new staff, and conducting more training before the fall semester.  He says fake ID's are becoming more advanced and harder to spot.

"We've increased our staff at the door which is another issue that we have is obviously getting minors caught when they come into the building.  We're trying to market to an older crowd, a more happy hour centric crowd,” Stapleton explained.

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission did approve the manager's application but there's a condition on the license.  If they have any issues within the next year they will have to come before the commission and explain why.