It’s a question that has vexed the city for decades: how to handle a saloons that are often overrun by customers, who can be violent, disruptive, or both?
The answer, for many, has been to keep them out of the streets and allow them to become places of relaxation.
But in Key St. Beach, the answer is a mix of a mix and a lot of different things.
In the years since the shooting at the Salons, the city has been scrambling to determine what to do about the hundreds of saloons along Key St., including those in downtown and near the beaches, where the violence is concentrated.
It has also been working with Key St.-area officials and businesses to identify the safest places to have a bar.
But the answer, in part, has come from a question: What can the city do to help?
Here’s what we know about how to best deal with these businesses: • What are the saloons?
• How are they regulated?
• What kind of regulations are in place?
• Are there any laws on the books?
• Why are they so dangerous?
• Where are they located?
• And how are they policed?
• Here’s a look at what we’ve learned about the most dangerous saloons in Key’s Key St-Beach community.
Key St.: The first saloon to open in Key, the Saloon at the Key St location opened in 1973.
Today, there are more than 300 saloons throughout Key, many of which are licensed by the city.
Some of them are known for their violent history, including a history of shooting people and attacking others.
Others, like the Saloons at the Beach, are popular spots for families.
What’s at risk in a salons: • Saloons are allowed to have alcohol, but they must stay out of people’s way.
• The bar must have a sign on the door warning people that the bar is a “dangerous place” and that they should stay inside.
• Alcohol is prohibited in the Saloos.
• It’s illegal for people to get into the Saluns to drink.
• Saluns must be cleaned up and cleaned out of any litter or debris.
• Some Saloons also have a private balcony.
• Bars with alcohol may only be served at certain times of the day, and must be staffed by licensed security personnel.
• Key St is known for its crime rate, which has dropped from a high of about 8,000 in 2005 to around 500 in 2010.
• There is a $100 fine for people caught in the street and $50 for anyone who assaults or harasses anyone.
• When a bar has a sign that says “no alcohol,” the law says “that’s the law.
Anybody can drink at that bar.”
What can city officials do?
• The city can enact ordinances to enforce the law and impose fines.
• City officials can request that a saloo close or limit its hours, and the bar can apply for permits to open or close.
• Residents can file complaints with the city’s Office of Administrative Hearings.
• Bar owners may have to pay a fee to the city, but can avoid paying the fines if they provide proof of a business license and pay the city a fee.
• If a bar doesn’t close within 30 days, the owner may be fined up to $2,500, which is the same as if the bar closed and was subsequently reopened.
• A bar owner may have the ability to file a complaint with the City Council and the council will have the authority to decide whether to impose fines, require a permit to reopen or close, or take any other action it deems appropriate.
• For more information, visit the Key Street Saloons website.
• Follow The Washington Post’s coverage of Key St, Key St Beach, and Key St » •Follow @WTOP on Twitter for the latest in KeyStBeach.com, KeyStNews.com and more.