Closing time controversy for Walnut Creek restaurants

Two restaurants will be under review by the Walnut Creek Planning Commission at a meeting Monday night to determine if they should be forced to close their doors earlier at night.

Crogan’s Sports Bar and Grill and Redux Lounge, both located on Locust Street in the city’s downtown area, operate until 2:00 a.m. 

Despite a 2012 city ordinance requiring new restaurants to close at 11:00 p.m., the establishments were grandfathered in at the time the ordinance passed.

City staff is recommending that Crogan’s and Redux have their “deemed approved” status revoked, which would force the restaurants to close at 11:00 p.m. due to repeated calls for service from police and multiple violations.

City documents show 600 calls for service from police related to Crogan’s  since 2012. There have been 300 calls for service related to Redux since 2012. The documents cite things like public intoxication, theft, assault, and most recently the shooting death of a man on Locust Street that police said was likely gang related.

“Those people came from up the street and there was a shooting there,” Michael Cardoza, an attorney, said. “So how can the police then look at that establishment, unless they're looking for an excuse? And, I think that's exactly what they're doing.”

Cardoza does not represent the restaurants, but believes they should not be taking the blame.

“You have people who get intoxicated, you get people who get a little out of hand, but that's part of our society,” he said. “It's something we want to have the police take care of.”

The planning commission is set to make a decision on the matter Thursday night.