Council to review August Weber liquor license tonight
Complaint shows potential violation of ordinance terms

By Laurie Arendt - News Graphic Staff

Nov. 14, 2017

  A hearing will be held at 7 p.m. today on whether to revoke the liquor license for the August Weber Haus because of ordinance violations.
Photo by Mark Justws Graphic File Photo

CEDARBURG — A Common Council hearing on the status of the August Weber Haus’ Class B liquor license will be held at 7 p.m. today at Cedarburg City Hall, W63 N645 Washington Ave.

According to a report from the Cedarburg Police Department, numerous individuals have been harassed or denied service at the August Weber Haus during alleged hours of operation.

City ordinance 7-2-18 stipulates that establishments must be open a minimum of 15 days per calendar month, and on each of those days, the establishment must be open for not less than 240 consecutive minutes (four hours) to the public.

Several individuals from the community notified the Cedarburg Police Department of incidents in which they attempted to patronize the August Weber Haus during apparent hours of operation and were videotaped/photographed and asked for their full names.

Another specific incident from January 2017 includes an incident in which a patron was refused access and the door was subsequently locked, resulting in a violation of the minimum service hours.

Timothy Algiers, attorney for August Weber Haus owners Steve and Diane Banas, noted that this was temporarily done to “protect the safety of the employees,” according to correspondence included in the report.

Algiers also countered that the owners of the August Weber Haus have been harassed by community members, specifically those involved in an organization called Committee for a Safe Cedarburg.

The investigation notes that community members have complained that the establishment advertises the hours it is open on social media, yet photographs taken during those times have shown the establishment to be dark and the “open” sign remains off.

According to a letter from Algiers included in the police report, the Banases agreed to post the hours they are open on Facebook, including when they open and when they are closing, as proof that the ordinance is not being violated.

The police report notes the August Weber Haus primarily operates as a “pub” and has discontinued full food service, limiting its menu to cheese and alcoholic beverages except during festivals, when other menu items are served.

The establishment also continues to deal with a secondary issue in regards to alleged continued employment of Jacob Banas, the son of Steve and Diane Banas, who was investigated in 2014 for third-degree sexual assault and drugging of women, though he was never formally charged. In 2016, Banas filed a defamation suit against four women in regards to their claims. While the employment of Jacob Banas does not have an effect on ordinance compliance, statements from individuals in regards to this issue are included in the police report.

The Common Council is expected to go into closed session before any action is taken at the Tuesday evening meeting. Should the Common Council vote to revoke the license, Steve and Diane Banas would be unable to obtain a license for 12 months from the date of revocation.