PORTSMOUTH — At Town Hall Monday night, Police Chief Thomas F. Lee didn’t need to talk about potential liquor license violations allegedly committed by the Beach House Tavern after all.
That’s because earlier on Monday, the bar that was popular with locals and the college crowd abruptly surrendered its license and closed its doors.
A sign found posted on the front door of the bar at 506 Park Ave. Monday afternoon read only, “The Beach House will be closed until further notice.”
“I’ve been informed by the town clerk that effective today, they’ve turned in their license,” Chief Lee told the council, which was sitting as the Board of License Commissioners. While he was prepared to discuss three recent incidents involving the bar, the chief said it was unnecessary to discuss any potential action against the business now.
“It’s moot at this point,” said Chief Lee.
Council President James Seveney said the problems the bar has faced in recent weeks were unfortunate.
“That’s too bad. It had a lot of potential to be a good business,” said Mr. Seveney.
No one from the Beach House attended Monday night’s meeting.
After the meeting, Town Clerk Joanne Mower said a representative of the Beach House came to Town Hall Monday and surrendered the Class BV victualler license which is necessary to operate the business.
Ms. Mower was also told the business closed as of 1 a.m. Monday.
She was given no indication of any future plans by the business, which would have to “start from scratch” and re-apply for the license if it wished to open again at some point, she said.
On May 29, Beach House owner Kenneth J. O’Brien, 47, pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of tax evasion. Mr. O’Brien admitted that he failed to report nearly $1 million in income from his business.
Mr. O’Brien is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 2, 2014. Tax evasion is punishable by a statutory penalty up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Read our previous story about the Beach House here.