Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Calls Martell's Liquor License Renewal 'Premature'

Martell's, a long-time Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk landmark, had no difficulty in seeking renew its liquor license Tuesday night - a decision that Mayor Vincent Barrella called "premature."

Council voted 4-0 to extend the license to June 30, 2015 during a heard held Tuesday in the Council Chambers of the Borough Hall, 416 New Jersey Ave., Point Pleasant Beach. 

The August 2013 fatality of a woman who left Martell's, while apparently intoxicated, had caused Mayor Vincent Barrella and Council members to consider denying the renewal of its liquor license. 

Barrella had previously urged council members not to support a resolution that made a few revisions to confirm the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control's ruling about Martell's liquor license.

On Wednesday, Barrella said he feels the council should have waited until the ABC had spoken.

"It's too bad that the council couldn't wait until it had all the facts before them," he said Wednesday.

Township Attorney Kevin Riordan had warned the council that failing to codify the ABC's action supporting Martell's liquor license could expose the borough to a lawsuit that it could lose.  Riordan said the best time for the council to take action is when Martell's has to renew its license, which officials indicated to be in June.

Council members had said they should have more information in June related to the fatality and another woman's severe injury from a head-on collision, which is the subject of a lawsuit that was filed against Martell's.  The case has not yet been heard before a judge.

Barrella said the ABC has not shared any records related to the incident, despite the borough attorney's requests in October.   

ABC's Website highlights several occurrences where bars had their liquor licenses revoked or bar owners were forced to sell their liquor licenses in 2013.

Point Pleasant Beach officials have had a contentious relationship with bar owners in recent years over the local government's attempts to have them close earlier than 2 a.m., the current limit, and over parking for patrons.  
Rick Ricky May 28, 2014 at 02:20 PM
Ultimately it is the responsibility of them all. The driver who decided to over drink, the bartender who over served and the owner of the establishment. Rules apply to these bars and they know it. It is all about the money and most don't care. Establishments have closed down because of not following the rules so it is for real and they are responsible. Most establishments know what to look for. Some just choose not to see it. It definitely is a money issue. Some places feel if I stop them from drinking they will just go to another establishment so they continue to serve them. Let's be real. Who wants to lose money these days? This is not about the women who died any longer. Nothing can be done for her and she was at fault and her own hand to mouth. It is the innocent women who had nothing to do with this that needs to be compensated by everyone involved. She has done nothing to deserve what has happened to her. Anyone who is tries to tell me that they would not be suing all parties involved if it happened to them or a loved one is full of crap.
Rick Ricky May 28, 2014 at 02:26 PM
Pattie, Just to let you know. This is nothing new. It is not a new cans of worms. This has been going on a while and the reason why places close down. That is what some people do, they over drink and sue and win if something serious enough happens to them.
Mr. Happy May 28, 2014 at 03:09 PM
Hi Patti - your raise some interesting points, but in this particular case, there is proof of the woman drinking at the establishment from her credit card receipt, which acts as a time stamp. Also, her friend gave a corroborating statement. The woman also stole a car from the valet parking lot. Plenty of negligence to go around in this case.
Rick Ricky May 28, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Did you see the recent article on the bar crawl? I guy loss his leg and sued because he stated he realized he was drunk so he felt so should have the bar tender who continued to serve him. He won a few million that I am sure his attorney will get most of it. Talk about taking no accountability. He was the idiot and everyone pays. In this case their was an innocent person who did nothing to ask for her pain and suffering.
Wholovestheboardwalk May 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Here we go again with this Mayor !!! Instead of waiting for all the facts to come out lets just not renew Martell's Tiki Bar license because you personally do not like them. If any of you people have been to Martell's like I have been you would know that the rules they have in place regarding getting a drink are very strict. Have you ever seen the security personnel in this place, they are everywhere. Even in relation to this incident I heard that the woman was cut off and that she was stopped being served liquor. Mayor Barrella continues to use nj.com as his go to source well how come we haven't heard him talk about the article from May 5, 2014 saying that this girl at the time of this accident was taking ADHD medication. For someone who claims to be a lawyer he must not have been a good one because the ones I know get all the facts and information before they even begin to speak.


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