A Glenwood bar owner claims his business lost between $600 - $1,000 in sales because police officers refused to allow his establishment to stay open an additional hour when Daylight Saving Time ended at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Mike Rupe said officers entered his establishment, Rupe’s Pub, shortly before 2 a.m. and told the bartending staff the tavern would not be allowed to serve alcohol for an additional hour when Daylight Saving Time ended and clocks were set back one hour to 1 a.m. Rupe told city council members last week the forced closure was a clear violation of state law that allows the extra hour of sales when Daylight Saving Time ends.
“We’re allowed an additional hour of sales,” Rupe said. “I’ve been open since 2006 and my family has been in business since 1946 and this if the first time this has happened.”
Published guidelines from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division (ABD) state, “Returning to Central Standard Time in the fall lawfully allows an extra hour of sale. (At 2 a.m., the time becomes 1 a.m.). Therefore, licensees may sell and serve alcoholic beverages for an additional hour.”
Rupe said staff and patrons advised the officers of the state law, but the officers refused to allow the tavern to continue sales for the extra hour.
Rupe accused the police department of singling out Rupe’s Pub and Cheers lounge, noting the city’s convenience stores were allowed to continue alcohol sales for the additional hour.
“Why weren’t the convenience stores not told to stop sales?” Rupe asked.
Rupe said some patrons left his establishment and immediately went to local convenience stores to purchase beer.
Glenwood Police Chief Eric Johansen conceded the department shouldn’t have forced the two bars to shut off sales and apologized to Rupe. Johansen said there was a misunderstanding about the law within the department. Johansen’s officers were unable to find the regulations pertaining to Daylight Saving Time and alcohol sales in the state code, the chief said. In addition to Johansen, members of the city council and Mayor Kim Clark apologized to Rupe.
“It sounds like it was an honest mistake,” Clark said.
Rupe sounded less than satisfied with the explanation and apologies and indicated he might seek financial retribution from the city.
“The apology only goes so far when I lose business,” Rupe said.
Rupe said he was having a Halloween party the night of the incident and was experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of business when sales were shut off.
“I may be looking at retribution and possibly discrimination,” Rupe said at last week’s city council meeting.