Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More Skybox

From the PPH's article on the Skybox affair:

City Councilor John O'Hara said the couple [Tom and Ellen Dore] had some initial success, but
complaints about rowdy patrons resurfaced after a couple years.


Councilor O'Hara said he fears a new Skybox would follow the same
trajectory as its predecessor: a couple of good years before things return to
normal. "We could go backwards very quickly down there," he said.

The Dores received approval to open the bar in March 2004. As of May March 2006--a fair definition of a couple years, in my modest opinion--then-Police Chief Paul McCarthy had this to say about Skybox under the ownership of the Dores: "It really has turned around. There is new ownership. They have cooperated and invested some significant time, energy and money into making the place better." Moreover, as of February 2008, Skybox was only slightly more disruptive than other bars in town.

- John C.L. Morgan

Related: A Couple Thoughts on the Re-Opening of Skybox
Related: No Bar For You
Related: (Deep) Thoughts on the Skybox Closure


Lynn M said...

So I've been doing a lot of research on this matter and if Police Chief Paul McCarthy did say about Skybox that under the ownership of the Dores: "It really has turned around. There is new ownership." on or around May 2006 - the City Council stated in their fact in findings for the March 2008 meeting where the denied their license that by March of 2007 it went downhill so fast that they had to warn the Dore's if they did not have substantial improvements by next year they wouldn't be relicensed. Being a patron of the Skybox – and a patron of other establishments, I didn’t notice the significant change! Also by the way of those 13 calls 5 were due to live bands (3 on the same night) – for a pro business city why didn’t they start off by taking their amusement license it seemed like a little over kill to me. Also out those 8 we have left 2 (types) of incidents that were contributed to the bar - happened again even after the bar was closed. There was fight out front and someone was passed out on the bench outside, those too would have been blamed on the Skybox had they been in business and would have put them as risk of losing their license at risk in 2009. So if you want to boil it down they closed a business down because of maybe only 6 police calls - because taking away their amusement license would have solved that!

Westbrook Diarist said...


Thanks to your comment, I am able to correct my post: Former Police Chief McCarthy's quote is actually from a March 23, 2006 Press Herald article, not an article from May 2006.

I confused that article with a May 2, 2006 piece in which McCarthy was described as finding no reason to deny the license, "noting that police calls involving Skybox have been infrequent."

I apologize for the error.

Lynn M said...

My posts still stands!! Thanks

James T said...

Lynn you are right. I was at a meeting and Councilor Cramer said Brown St have been nothing but problems for 20 years. Hardly, the Skybox created the problem. All they did was to try and make a building look nice.

The real issue is the city wants to act like they did something by closing the Skybox. Even Chief Baker said, at the same meeting, there was no reduction in call only that they were in residents home now. The real truth is our public safety department is in shambles. We all have read the story of sexual harassment to violence the runs from city council to the fire and police departments. All while the tax payer pick up the tab. The law enforcement don't have a plan for Brown St. Shut down a bar but let three business sell alcohol, tobacco and lotto tickets(nothing against those corner store, it's just hypercritical). The police haven't cleaned up the area. I live in the neighborhood. You will not see the police "walking the beat", no bike cops and the police sit in the church parking lot waiting for a call not preventing one. It is embarrassing the city's lack of interest in really growing that area. It is an election year in November and I bet you'll see some seat changing in the council.

skybox212 said...

In all fairness Chief Baker and the Westbrook Police Department have done a great job over the past year cleaning up the city! The bust on " Main street " at Friendly discount was an eye opener to us all! I believe it is in bad taste to speak derogatory statements towards our public services. The police especially have a tough job out there. Everyday they stand in the face of danger! I have seen Westbrook Police walking the beat and on bike patrols a few times in the past. This is a great idea!

The city does have an interest in growing the French Town area. Unfortunately their intent is force current property owners into foreclosure, Purchase the land cheap and cash in on other peoples investments (Pro Business).

As far as this election year goes. I am a blue collar business owner / construction worker. Some of the recent events in the city I find discouraging. It appears working class people are no longer welcome in a town built on the backs of the working class. There is no political representation for the Blue Collar worker in this city.

This year I will vote for officials that are honest? Officials that are accountable for their employees. Officials that stand behind their records! Westbrook politics are getting in the way of real people with real lives.


Allen Moore

Skybox Bar & Grill

Lynn M said...

I've always thought the real problem on Brown St are the apartment property owners (not all) but obviously someone or a number of property owners are not properly screening their tenants and then they don't seem to ask problem tenants to leave or be accountable. I know numerous problem tenants that have been in those apartments for years.
In Portland they have a policy on problem tenants. If you get three police calls within a month then your property is recognized as a "hot spot" and you have to rectify the problem or it becomes a "disorderly house" and at that time they would possible have to hire someone to properly manage their property. If the problems continue the property could be condemned. If the City of Westbrook had such a policy and maybe they do I haven't found it, this would help all the property owners in the area. I feel like a few bad seeds keep our property value down and our rents down.
Since I manage 721 apartments and own 2 I do have some insight into the problems in that area and how to fix them. The company that work for we have purchased many "problem" properties in "problem" areas of Portland and South Portland and cleaned up the properties by screening applicants, working with the local police departments and most of all holding the tenants responsible for their actions. I own and/or manage 9 apartments in the Brown Street area and would really like to see the area cleaned up.