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Beau Club faces sanctions for unruly employee

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has penalized the Beau Club in Ashland after a bartender was found drinking on the job and started a fight with a patron in November.

The club, at 347 E. Main St., was hit with two violations for a Nov. 14 incident. It must pay a $3,300 civic penalty by May 15 or serve a 20-day license suspension starting May 20, per a settlement agreement with the OLCC.

The incident, reported by Ashland police, involved a bartender and a Village Taxi driver, according to the investigation report obtained by the Tidings.

Dustin Palmer, the Beau Club’s bartender, allegedly was drinking on the job from a hydro flask he kept behind the counter on Nov. 14.

At about 11:15 p.m., Palmer, according to the report, got into an altercation with Josh Schroer, who told the investigator that they had been friends prior to the fight. Schroer recalled Palmer’s mood “went from being happy to getting mad quickly” and said that Palmer started pushing him.

Schroer claimed they got into headlocks before Palmer pinned him down between a video game machine and a couch, leaving him with some scratches under his left eye.

According to the police report, Palmer had “droopy, bloodshot watery eyes, and slurred speech.” He also refused the police’s request to take a breathalyzer test after the fight. The OLCC investigator described Palmer as having “several signs of visible intoxication,” based on video footage from an Ashland police body camera.

The investigator didn’t confirm what might have started the fight. An eyewitness, who knows Schroer, said the fight broke out and lasted for 10 seconds as he intervened.

According to a bar log initialed by Palmer, Schroer allegedly was harassing a female bartender, then assaulted him when he asked Schroer to leave. The female bartender said she left before the altercation began and that she didn’t know whether Palmer was drunk. She was found by the investigator to have an expired server’s permit.

The owners of the club, Robert Dreiszus and Annrae Dreiszus, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

It’s unclear whether Palmer is still employed at the Beau Club. His record with OLCC doesn’t list an address or a phone number.

According to the agreement settlement between the Beau Club and OLCC, the club retained a lawyer as the business was initially facing a suspension of up to 40 days. The Beau Club filed for a hearing process but ultimately withdrew as part of the settlement terms.

OLCC found the business to be in violation by letting its employee consume alcoholic beverages while on duty and permitting disorderly activity within the business.

If the Beau Club fails to pay the civic penalty, the suspension would automatically kick in from May 20 to June 9, prohibiting the bar from selling and serving alcohol, according to the terms of the settlement.

Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or tnguyen@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.