Fighting L&I: Not Fun
An interesting piece in the Philadelphia Weekly details the trials and travails of a South Philly bar owner's struggle with Licenses & Inspections:
One day back in April Jonn Klein was busy doing what he’s done six days a week for the last two years—opening his bar the Dive for business. He’d parked his car in the lot of George W. Nebinger Elementary School a half a block away, as he always did, safe in the knowledge that the school’s principal Anthony Majewski was fine with the lot being used by the public after 6 p.m.
While he was unlocking the door, a white van pulled up. A man Klein didn’t know got out, approached him and began yelling, insisting the lot was not for public use and that Klein and Dive patrons had no right to park there. Furthermore, the man continued, Dive customers were leaving empties, drinking and generally being an all-around nuisance in the lot, making it unsafe.
Klein defended his patrons and his right to park, adding that the Nebinger Elementary lot was under constant video surveillance, and that if Dive regulars were guilty of these things, he’d surely hear about it from Majewski.
The man left, but not before adding something Klein thought odd: “I’m a former city committeeman,” he said. “I know people. I’ll get you shut down.”
That man, Klein would later find out, was a neighbor of Nebinger who lived just behind the Dive, and who does, it turns out, “know people.” A month after the screaming bout on the street, Klein was enjoying a rare day off when he received a panicked phone call from his bartender: “L&I is here. They’re shutting us down.”
Fighting L&I is costing Klein tens of thousands of dollars.
Diving for Answers [Philadelphia Weekly]