JOLIET – Mojoes of Joliet will lose its liquor license for three days in June because of an overcrowding incident at the downtown club.
Mayor Bob O'Dekirk, who also serves as the city's liquor commissioner, announced the action Thursday.
The suspension of the liquor license does not shut down the club. But it does mean liquor cannot be sold.
The suspension takes effect from 4 p.m. June 14 to 4 p.m. June 17.
One show is scheduled during that time at Mojoes. Ces Cru is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. on June 14, which is a Sunday.
Mojoes owner Chris Triebes said he needed to clarify whether the performance could continue.
O'Dekirk said he suspended the license because of past incidents at the club, along with the charges brought from the overcrowding incident in April.
"It's not their first offense," he said. "Having said that, we want to work with Mojoes. We want them to stay in Joliet."
Triebes said he is looking for a larger location for the club, which now has a capacity for 500.
O'Dekirk said he agrees the club needs a larger location, but that a penalty needed to be imposed for the April 11 event.
"We don't want to have an incident where we're going to have overcrowding and, God forbid, something happens," he said.
Triebes pleaded guilty Wednesday at a Liquor Commission hearing to charges that the club was overcrowded at an April 11 performance by the bands Exodus and Testament. Police said 171 people were counted waiting to get into the club at a point when it was already full.
Triebes also pleaded guilty to allowing minors in an area where alcohol was being served.
The all-ages club is designed to serve alcohol on one floor while another floor is reserved for minors. A city lawyer said alcohol was served on both floors April 11, although police at the scene did not see any minors being served.
Triebes said the three-day license suspension "is rough, but if they have to enforce the law that way, they have to do it."
Meanwhile, Triebes said he will look for a new location or ways to update the existing club to expand capacity.
"I'd like to have at least a thousand capacity," he said.
Mojoes leases the space at 22 W. Cass St., an old downtown building that in past decades was the Kline's Department Store. Mojoes opened in 2011.
Updating the existing club for expanded capacity is one possible solution, Triebes said. He is also considering moving to another site and would prefer to stay in downtown Joliet, he said.