Liar's Club regulars and employees found the Mission Beach bar and restaurant closed on November 21. A liquor-license-suspension notice was posted on the front of the building. A state Alcohol Beverage Control board (ABC) spokesman says the suspension was mandated by the State Board of Equalization because of unpaid taxes.
"Basically they say, 'If you're not gonna pay us what you owe us, then we will make it so you can't make any money,' " says an ABC employee. He says that suspensions precipitated by unpaid taxes are not that unusual and about ten such suspensions are ordered in the county each year. The employee says the suspension is "indefinite" and in effect until the taxes are paid.
The Liar's Club's wide selection of microbrews and a popular jukebox have helped the bar thrive on Mission Boulevard for seven years. Attempts to reach owner Louis Mello were not successful.
Al Guerra, host of the 91X local-music program Loudspeaker, has broadcast a number of his shows from the Liar's Club. Guerra says the recent news has no impact on his plans to open a bar/café/music venue in Alpine with Mello called the Liar's Club Tavern and Grill. Guerra, a resident of Alpine, says he plans to showcase many of the local bands he plays on his radio show.
He scoffs at skeptics who suggest an original-music venue would struggle in Alpine. "There's more places to play live music than just North Park. We are only a mile away from Viejas."