There’s flirting with an attractive bartender, and then there’s trying to shove an attractive bartender’s head into a plastic bag to take her home with you.
One man allegedly went the latter route, and it landed him behind bars and the bar in hot water.
For a long while, the Eager Beaver Bar in Appleton, Wisconsin, has had their female bartenders wear nothing but sexy underwear on Thursday night. But after a man allegedly tried to kidnap one of those bartenders, the bar has now ended “Lingerie Night” and neighbors are calling for the establishment to be shuttered, the Appleton Post Crescent reported.
The man, 45-year-old Dennis L. Mitchell, allegedly parked behind a female bartender’s car on July 10, and she said he ran up to her as she approached her vehicle and tried to place a black plastic bag over her head.
When the bartender screamed and struggled, bystanders rushed to help and Mitchell fled, the Post Crescent reported.
The man apparently had a history of creepy behavior: the owner of the Eager Beaver, Christina Coon, told authorities that Mitchell was a regular at her bar and that she had asked him to stop photographing bartenders on a previous occasion, and police linked his truck to a May solicitation of prostitution incident, for which he’s now also facing charges.
But as Mitchell faced criminal charges, the Eager Beaver’s owner was apparently acting in a shady manner herself.
Coon initially denied that the Eager Beaver had ever hosted a weekly “Lingerie Night,” the Post Crescent reported, and later said the event would be cancelled in light of the attempted kidnapping.
Photos of past Lingerie Nights were scrubbed from the bar’s Facebook page.
“All the content has been removed for the safety of our bartenders, not to deny or to hide Lingerie Night,” Coon told the Post Crescent. “We are no longer having Lingerie Night, and that’s really all there is to say about it.”
Meanwhile, another Facebook page popped up: “Eager to Close the Beaver.”
Run by neighbor Ali Koestner, the page is dedicated to getting the bar permanently shut down.
“When I moved into the neighborhood, it was a quiet little local bar. Not a lot of riff-raff or loud noises,” Koestner told the Post Crescent. “Since (Eager Beaver) came into the neighborhood, it’s been getting progressively worse.”
Koestner alleged that the bar’s policies have attracted more noise and crime than other bars of similar size, and mocked the logic of Lingerie Night on Facebook, writing, “I can’t walk into a bar in my lingerie, thong, or bra, so to me a bartender shouldn’t be able to wear one to work.”
The Post Crescent found data that seems to corroborate some of Koestner’s claims:
Since 2011, police have been called to Eager Beaver Bar 69 times, an average of one call every two weeks, according to a Post-Crescent Media analysis of Appleton police data. One-quarter of those calls resulted in arrests.
Seventeen calls over the past 3½ years were related to criminal offenses such as battery, disorderly conduct, underage drinking and thefts. The same number were for non-criminal issues like welfare checks, medical calls, traffic stops and assists.
Officers were called to Eager Beaver 34 times for ordinance violations, arrest warrants, noise complaints, harassment, disturbances and suspicious situations.
Police calls to Eager Beaver are far fewer than some College Avenue bars. For example, in a single year, Luna Lounge and Anduzzi’s each exceeded the number of police calls Eager Beaver received in 3½ years.
However, bars with similar capacities to Eager Beaver, which holds up to 82 people, had about half the average police calls per year. Carter’s Caboose, located in the same block as Eager Beaver at 1428 W. Second St., has had eight police calls and one arrest since 2011.
Despite the crime, Coon’s comments made it seem unlikely she’ll close the Eager Beaver anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Mitchell faces up to 20 years in prison if he’s convicted of attempted kidnapping, the Post Crescent reported.
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