Can Angie's Cocktails Outlast Tom Carr?

UPDATE: Pete Holmes responds, sort of.

Forget the War Room: Save Angie's.

As one of his final acts as Seattle's City Attorney, lame duck Tom Carr has moved to have the liquor license of the less than elegant, but always lively south Seattle Columbia City public house revoked.

As the P-I reported yesterday, Angie's owners have obtained a temporary license, but that new permit keeps the place legal and serving booze only until December 31. As fate would have it, that just happens to be Carr's last day in office.

In a letter sent to the Board last month, Carr, through one of his confederates, reported of drug dealing, underage drinking and sundry other violations of the Good Neighbor Agreement owner Wong Lee signed with the city, and asked the Liquor Control Board not to renew the bar's license.

Now that a temporary permit has been issued, the Board has until December 31 to complete its own investigation into whether the criminal activity occurring around Angie's can be tied back to the bar itself, says Board spokesperson Brian Smith.

But according to Smith, that investigation proceeds only at the behest of the complaining party, who in this particular case will be gone-zo come the first of the year.

"I've actually never seen a situation where the source of the complaint leaves office soon after they file it with us," says Smith, adding that the investigation should be completed before life of Angie's temporary permit has ended. If not, then the ball falls directly into the as of yet unspoiled hardwood of Seattle's City Attorney-elect, Pete Holmes.

Earlier this month, Holmes coasted to victory largely on the backs of the city's club and bar owners who painted him as a more progressive alternative to Carr and his reportedly Puritanical approach enforcing the city's nightlife-related ordinances.

If the Board should be delayed in issuing a decision, we'll get a very early look at how Holmes will manage the interests of his office (enforcing city law) and the interests of the nightlife types who helped get him elected.

UPDATE: SW caught up with Holmes today at the Metropolitan Democratic Club's panel on marijuana decriminalization to ask about the Angie's situation. Clear answers were not forthcoming.

"I know about as much as I do from reading the Weekly," said Holmes, which apparently is not enough to have yet formed an opinion on whether he'll continue the action against Angie's if the liquor board decision on whether to revoke the bar's liquor license is delayed.

Of course, if Tim Burgess proposed revision to the city's nuisance property ordinance is approved later this month, then the Good Neighbor Agreements, whose provisions Angie's is currently accused of violating could become moot altogether. Whether the city attorney's office will discontinue their use in that event is yet another question for the new City Attorney. We'll keep trying for an answer.

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