806 Wine Bar on Literary Avenue, just around the corner from Tremont’s hot restaurant strip on Professor Avenue, has been the source of a lot of neighborhood drama. We covered some of it last year in a cover story about Tremont’s congestion issues, and more this past week in a news item about councilman Joe Cimperman’s crusade to prevent current liquor license owner Karl Dlugos from renewing that license. Dlugos and his girlfriend Lisa Gottschalt, who managed 806, were locked out of the bar earlier this year by building owner Tom Leneghan (the Treehouse. P.J. McIntyre’s) for unclear reasons. Dlugos was planning to sell the license to a partner of Leneghan’s to open a taqueria in the spot.
All of that just became infinitely more complicated. On March 28, Dlugos, Gottschalt and a third person, Robert S. Goines, were arrested in North Olmsted on a laundry list of mostly drug-related charges including cultivation of marijuana, drug trafficking, possession, assembly/possession of chemical-manufacturing drugs with intent to manufacture, and child endangering. They were indicted on April 6, and arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow morning in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court. (You can search for their records online at the court's website. Note: Lisa’s name is misspelled “Cottschalk.”)
This isn’t the first brush with the law for Gottschalt or Goines. Gottschalt was arrested in February 2011 in Lakewood with several other people, also for drug offenses. The charges against her were dismissed. Goines has record of over a dozen arrests, going back to the mid ’90s, for multiple drug offenses, as well as burglary, grand theft, attempted vandalism, breaking and entering, and possession of criminal tools. He’s spent a fair amount of time in jail in the last decade and a half.
At a hearing at City Hall March 22 on the renewal of 806’s liquor license, Cleveland police lieutenant William S. Mone who works the vice detail on the near west side, testified, “About two years ago we started receiving complaints, mostly noise complaints related to music but also about drug use and trafficking in and around the establishment.” When Dlugos’ attorney Michael Dolan asked why no one had been cited, Mone said, “We were never able to fully investigate those complaints. It takes a long time and you have to go undercover or have informants.”
These arrests will certainly lend credibility to the complaints. They also make the fate of the liquor license even fuzzier. While Dlugos and Gottschalt no longer run 806 (which is currently closed), Dlugos is still legally the owner of the license, and the charges against him and Gottschalt don’t strengthen his case for renewal, especially with Cimperman vowing to fight him every step of the way. Leneghan was supporting Dlugos’ case for renewal because he wants to buy a valid license; if the license is stripped, he’d have to find another liquor license in the city and have it transferred to the 806 location.
Perhaps the individual in the most awkward position is Dlugos’ lawyer — moonlighting assistant county prosecutor Dolan. He’s representing someone who will now be prosecuted by the office he works for. — Anastasia Pantsios