Aug 23, 2023 - News

Prominent Iowa bar owner denied another liquor license

A photo of Fat Charlie's in Urbandale.

Fat Charlie's Tavern at 3825 121st St. in Urbandale. Photo: Google Maps

Urbandale City Council denied a liquor license renewal last night to embattled local restaurant owner Steve McFadden.

Why it matters: It's the third metro city to take such action in recent weeks.

  • West Des Moines and Des Moines denied his requests for Tipsy Crow and Grumpy Goat taverns last month citing his recent legal troubles.

Catch up fast: McFadden was convicted last year of assaulting an ex-girlfriend.

  • This year he pleaded guilty and received probation for stalking a different woman using a GPS device.

Driving the news: McFadden is also the owner of Fat Charlie's Tavern in Urbandale.

  • Urbandale Police Chief Rob Johansen recommended the denial, citing his own investigation. He alleges that McFadden also failed to promptly pay federal and state taxes.

State of play: McFadden recently sold a Grumpy Goat in Ankeny and Boomer's Bicycle Lounge in WDM.

  • He has appealed the previous denials to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and will also appeal Urbandale's, his attorney, William Kutmus, tells Axios.
  • The restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol during the appeal process.

Zoom in: Kutmus didn't appear to speak for McFadden at Urbandale's meeting last night, telling Axios the municipal hearing processes in the metro are "bulls---" because they too narrowly limit speaker time and don't allow for cross examination.

  • More facts will surface in upcoming administrative hearings that will reveal how unfairly McFadden has been treated, he says.

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