By Lee Perlman
For The Hollywood Star
In an unusual step, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission deferred action on a liquor license by Tracy and Sherri Doss for a proposed Mynt Gentleman’s Club – with nude entertainment – at 3390 N.E. Sandy Blvd.
The commission took this action after Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association chair Eric Fruits presented them with alleged information about establishments run by Doss in Columbus, Ohio that he had not listed on his OLCC application. Commission chair Philip Lang called for the postponement until February to investigate the charges.
Last summer the Dosses proposed to take over the premises, once Poncho’s Restaurant and more recently the La Fortuna night club, and run it as Fat Jack’s country and western-themed night club. During the course of negotiations for a Good Neighbor Agreement, Doss indicated that he might in the future switch to a nude entertainment format. The Laurelhurst Association later moved to oppose the granting of a license. Following this, Doss announced that he was suspending negotiations, and changing the name to Mynt and the format to nude dancing.
OLCC staffer Dan Croy had recommended approval of the license. He conceded that there had been problems at the proposed location but said that since it has been closed since July 2008 the indications were “there’s no problem at all” there now.
At the hearing 18 people testified, all but one – landlord Jim Atwood – opposing the license request. They included Officer Charles Harris on behalf of the Portland Police Bureau, John Perkins for the Hollywood Boosters, Robert Cinnamon of Teen Challenge, Dennis Breslin of the Breslin-Wallace car dealership, and Pat and Gerald Arthur of a nearby Christian Science Church. All testified that the “club” would be a detriment to the homes, businesses and social services around it. Cinnamon, whose agency deals with teens in recovery from substance abuse, said, “There could be few places that could be worse (as a neighbor) than an establishment like this. We are a crisis center for people in recovery. For this establishment, and all the elements that come with it, to be here would be highly detrimental.”
Zach Kenney, a close neighbor, had participated in the Good Neighbor negotiations, and had been impressed with Doss’s willingness to negotiate seriously. “I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but when he stepped away from the negotiations I doubted his integrity,” he told the commission. In addition, he said, his application was “full of omissions and inaccuracies. At some point he has to be held accountable. If there are problems it will be an indictment not just of Mr. Doss, but of this process.”
Doss has admitted to having managed the Krome bar in Columbus at a time when it was cited for violations. Fruits claimed he had been involved with three other establishments in that city – Allure Gentlemen’s Club, Columbus Flyers and B.K. Flyers – when they were cited by authorities for drugs, weapons and prostitutes being found on the premises, improper advertising that encouraged excessive drinking, liquor sales to minors, and other violations. “Tracy Doss is an unlicenseable person,” Fruits charged.
The commission seemed unimpressed with most of the other issues brought forth; member Alex Duarte said, “We can argue that many of the things testified to are not germaine to our criteria. Having said that, there are a plethora of things that trouble me.” These were the alleged inaccuracies in the application brought forth by Fruits.
Doss claimed that in the cases Fruits cited he was in the process of buying the bars when the violations occurred, and was in charge in name only. “I did not omit anything,” he insisted. “I answered the questions truthfully.” He said that he had pulled out of negotiations when Laurelhurst took the position that he should be denied a license. However, he said, he would still be willing to negotiate one.
Doss’s attorney objected that although Fruits had obtained the material two weeks before, he had waited until the last minute to present it. To grant a delay based on information delivered in this way would encourage such behavior in the future, he said.
Commission member Cassandra Skinner Lopata replied, “The inverse is also true. We would encourage full disclosure to begin with.”
The Dosses and their attorney declined to make any statements after the hearing.