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Rock Bar & Grill to Close Feb. 1 Under Agreement With City of Plymouth

Downtown bar to seek new ownership under terms of agreement.

The Rock Bar & Grill, 844 Penniman Ave. in downtown Plymouth, will close Feb. 1 under an agreement with the city.

The popular downtown establishment, faced with the city recommending revocation of its liquor license amid numerous liquor-related violations, currently is seeking new ownership.

The Plymouth City Commission voted unanimously Monday in favor of the agreement after a public hearing about the bar.

With the city allowing the establishment to keep its liquor license intact, the property—with its accompanying liquor license—will be more marketable to a potential buyer, as Plymouth has capped the amount of liquor licenses both downtown and in the city, and the Rock's liquor license would be the only available license in the city.

Bar owner Kevin Montagano will have 90 days from Monday to find a new, unrelated owner and submit proof of a purchase agreement to the city, or else the city will submit a recommendation for revocation to the state's Liquor License Control Committee. 

Under the agreement, the bar will remain on a short leash—It will immediately be forced to close its doors if any further violations are reported before Feb. 1.

Colleen Pobur, who had been appointed to the state Liquor Control Commission under former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, told the City Commission that its potential recommendation to revoke the Rock's liquor license carries a great deal of weight at the state level. 

"In my experience in my time at the Liquor Control Commission, I don’t recall an instance where a recommendation was rejected," she said. "It's a very powerful recommendation."

Pobur said bar patrons who had spoken in December in favor of the bar keeping its liquor license, citing the bar's tendency to call cabs for intoxicated patrons, missed the point.

"It’s the licensee’s responsibility to make sure patrons don’t get intoxicated," she said. 

Resident Janet Adkins, who lives in a condominium near the bar and was critical of the business' operations at a prior public hearing, said she was "quite pleased" with the agreement between the city and business owner.

Adkins, however, was critical of the city for taking three years to take action on the bar.

"Are we going to allow the next bar three years to fix their behavior?" she asked.

Weigh in: What type of bar and restaurant would you like to see in this bar's place? Let us know!

Diane Carr January 08, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Although I am not in favor of Bars, places that promote Family fun, sports, games and community would be nice. Plymouth is a Great Town!!!!
John Nelson January 08, 2013 at 01:43 PM
This is just a witch hunt by Paul Sincock and the City Commision against the current owners of the Rock Bar. Walk around on a friday night in downtown Plymouth and you will see intoxicated people walking out of the Box Bar, E.G.Nicks, 336 main, Ironwood, Sean O'Calahan's, and every other place in downtown Plymouth that sell's alcohol.
Jennifer Cheetam January 08, 2013 at 01:59 PM
I would love to see a good Mexican restuarant in its place.
Wendy Arendts Schultz January 08, 2013 at 02:50 PM
I'm with Jennifer...authentic Mexican Food!!!! For some reason the Mexican Restaurants don't seem to make it in Plymouth which is bizarre. Who doesn't love authentic Mexican Food. Tortillas and salsa, enchilada's, taco's, a margarita!!!! Lets go!!!!!
JW January 08, 2013 at 03:50 PM
The chick that lives in the condo across from the bar is an idiot. Who buys a condo on a street that is nothing but but bars, restaurants, and shops and is expecting it to be quiet? The Rock is no different from The Penn, O'Callaghan's, 336 and the like. People bounce from bar to bar so I think it's unfair to point the finger at one place. How does the city know The Rock was responsible for these peoples level of intoxication? They could've been sitting at The Penn all night, and stopped in to The Rock for one more. Or maybe not even, just to meet up with friends. So they stumble out the door and it's The Rock's fault? That's ridiculous. The city of Plymouth is a bunch of upscale wannabe's, and that behavior is evident by the comments of one Janet Adkins. So Janet, if you're reading this, thanks a lot for killing one of my favorite hang outs. Please do everyone a favor and take your uptight a** and move out of downtown. Apparently, you were too stupid to realize that buying a condo on a street packed with bars may have some undesired qualities.
Paul Schulz January 08, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Maybe you ladies should pay closer attention to what is taking place here, before we get all giddy about replacing the current very viable business. This is still someone's very costly Investment... Your like vultures... Maybe you ladies could rub a few nickels together and purchase the place yourself, maybe start a temperance union with Colleen Pobur. It's funny how the same people who opened the doors to alcohol serving establishments, are now the critics... So how did this evolve, what city commissioners and mayors approved all these licenses throughout the years. In an upcoming blog the facts will come out. All the names, and how the Plymouth bar scene evolved. In my opinion the actions taken by the city commission is over reaching. There is a person looking to put a new gun shop in downtown Plymouth, will the City Commission try to have some oversight of that? Time for new leadership in the city.
Diane Carr January 08, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Receiving comments in my email, but do not understand why they do not show up here. Seems like comments to us ladies have grouped us in a specific category, anyway how many bars does a city really need and if it has to remain one, then let it's record speak for itself in the next coming months. Pretty simple.
PAL January 08, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I completely agree with John and JW. Well said.
TH January 08, 2013 at 04:34 PM
How about a great sushi bar?
Jbooger97 January 08, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Before all you GUYS out there get your panties in a twist - the Rock Bar was mismanaged from the beginning and will probably be much more "viable" under new ownership. Several times we walked by on a Friday night and the whole place was closed. On a Friday night? Other times we couldn't get ANY food after 9:00. What place serves drinks and no food? No wonder everyone is drunk and disorderly. Last time we were there watching a baseball game at 11:00 p.m. women (and that's a stretch - barely legal) started dancing on top of the bar! We had to pick up our drinks or they were going to knock them over. We left and went to Penn Grill. I'm not a prud but seriously this isn't The Landing Strip! There are plenty of other bars in the area - Penn Grill, Ironwood to name a few that have a great atmosphere, good food and respectable business practices. We won't miss the Rock Bar and Grill. Mexican sounds good!!
Citizen January 08, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Why is it no one made mention of any of these things at the meeting? Oh...wait....you weren't there. SHUT UP then!
alyse jividen January 08, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Pay attention people. A Mexican place is going in in DTP, in the new building by the Box Bar. There has been a sign in the window for a week now. :). I 2nd a sushi place in The Rock's place.
alyse jividen January 08, 2013 at 09:34 PM
And yet another ice cream or yogurt place too, right across from Yogurtpalooza! Why??? I don't get it. Very excited about the Mexican place though, hope it works out.
Uncle Buck January 08, 2013 at 10:56 PM
I say we turn it into a church, so that we can pray away all the sinnin' and devil worshipin' goin on downtown! Noise complaints? Disorderly conduct? This town is dead by 10pm, 11pm if it's not a school night. Compared to other regional downtowns (Royal Oak, Ferndale, etc) Plymouth is extremely tame and doesn't have much of a bar scene at all. But I'm in favor of changing the city's name to Pleasantville, that way we won't be associated with all the proletariat out in the township.
lg January 09, 2013 at 02:34 AM
The best option for you, would be to move your high-felutant ass to another town.
pk January 09, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Everybody seems to forget that the rock neglected to police themselves,ie, when someone was starting to get drunk cut them off. Stop the bar dancers were they a dance studio too. Its alot of things adding up to one big mess that caused their downfall. Yes, Plymouth hired extra officers in order to handle the trouble at the Roc. So all you complainers find someplace else to drink yourselves silly. I like Plymouth and don't appreciate the critizing. GROW UP. PK
JT January 09, 2013 at 10:24 PM
I've been extremely intoxicated at every single bar in downtown Plymouth, I live downtown and walk bar to bar on weekends and have a great time doing so with countless number of friends & family. We've yet to be cut off at any bar or refused service from any bar. Anyone who is supporting this please park your car in the middle of downtown Plymouth on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. As a matter of fact park your car in the parking garage. You will see hundreds of people everyone night leaving every single bar/restaurant in Plymouth intoxicated and loud. 336 (now owned by Ironwood owners), Ironwood, EG Nicks, Panache, Box, Comparis, Sardine Room, Fiamma, Sean O's and the Penn all have people walking in and out all night till that place closes at each given time. Going to all these bars for 10+ years I've only seen a few people actually cut off, that's because of them dropping items or getting into fights. SMH at these people who judge what's going on but actually have no idea what the night life is all about in Plymouth. Go to Plymouth at midnight in the Summer time, you will be surprised at the hundreds of people walking around drunk taking pictures and just enjoying life in the downtown area.

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