#Neighborhood Living
Highlands neighborhood residents
United States of America

Due to a unique and potentially precedent setting misapplication of several extensive liquor licenses for Sushi Hai/Hai Bar, a large nightclub with entrances on residential Lowell Boulevard south of Highlands Square, we are experiencing a serious deterioration in the quality of life and basic moral values of our neighborhood.

Thru this petition, we are hoping to raise awareness of this issue with fellow residents, businesses and government officials. We hope this effort not only helps remedy the current situation via revocation of the licenses in question, but also serves as a marker to other businesses of this type attempting to place themselves in similarly inappropriate locations and unacceptable configurations throughout the wider Highlands neighborhood.

Not a Coincidence

Since Sushi Hai was granted a wide array licenses to expand to a two-hundred seat nightclub with entrances on a residential section of Lowell Boulevard south of 32nd Street (the so-called Hai Bar) we have witnessed a dramatic increase in disturbances and acts of vandalism. These incidents include, but are not limited to: assaults; persistent noise ordinance violations; littering; public urination and defecation; destruction of gardens; beer bottles thrown against homes; trespassing; patrons smoking and drinking alcohol in front of Sushi Hai against city ordinances. On Saturdays and Sundays since expansion, residential properties adjacent to Sushi Hai are and are now often littered with cigarette butts, partially filled liquor bottles and half eaten containers of sushi. A recent survey of the residents revealed that since Sushi Hai expanded to become the largest club in Highlands Square, over fifty calls were made to DPD emergency and non-emergency line concerning Sushi Hai and it’s patrons.

We stand certain that the dramatic increase in these incidents was made possible by the extensive and irresponsible liquor licensure of this business in its current inappropriate location. Due to these shortsighted policies, Sushi Hai is now one of the largest establishments of it’s kind in all of west Denver. Most offensively to us, its two entrances are located well down on residential Lowell Boulevard, it shares an interior wall with an eighty-year resident, and it has been licensed for liquor sales until 2 a.m. – keeping them open a full two hours later than all other establishments on the square.

Disturbances and Violence

According to the letter of the law and due to their close proximity to residential homes, Sushi Hai and their patrons violate city noise ordinances on a nightly basis. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the situation becomes oppressive. By 11:00 pm noisy patrons can be seen and heard loitering on the sidewalks on their way to Sushi Hai, often with open liquor containers. By 2:00 a.m, after all the other neighborhood establishments have been closed for two hours, it’s usually at it’s worst. Over served patrons yell, scream, and carry on loud conversations without regard to residents sleeping just a few feet away. We are also regularly awakened to the sights and sounds of Sushi Hai patrons returning to their parked cars to drink, listen to loud music, and continue their festivities. They have been seen throwing empty bottles, cans, and other trash, including used condoms, into our yards as they drive away.

There have also been violent scenes. A few months ago, a large and bloody street brawl erupted among Sushi Hai patrons, and spilled south down Lowell Boulevard. It resulted in a young man laying bleeding and unconscious in the middle of Lowell Boulevard, directly in front of a neighbor’s home. Of course the accompanying ambulances and police cars were a further disturbance, albeit a welcomed one. On a Saturday night in April, two households were awakened at 1:25 a.m. by an over served woman on the stairs Sushi Hai yelling unintelligibly. Neighbors called the non-emergency police number. She was physically restrained by a Sushi Hai security guard/DPD officer for thirty minutes, yelling and screaming a few feet from residents homes, and finally began screaming, Rape, Rape, Rape. Those who heard were horrified and called police emergency. She was finally picked her up in a paddy wagon after 2 a.m. One warm midnight last fall as windows were open and music blared from the car parked in front of his house, the father of a sick infant, went to the car and politely requested that the occupants decrease the volume. The father, who recognized the men as Sushi Hai patrons, was threatened that if he didn’t stop harassing them, he would be shot. That family will be moving from this Highlands neighborhood in May.

Please Add Your Name to our Efforts

Due in large part to an engaged and caring community that comes together to hold the line against entities, people and activities that deteriorate the quality of life, our Highlands neighborhood was saluted in the Sunday, April 19 Denver Post as one of the best in the area. We garnered three Westword Best of 2009 awards. When real estate values have slumped all over town, ours have not. Today, we stand certain that Highland Square will not be held in such esteem if Sushi Hai/Hai Bar is allowed to operate as a nightclub and bar in its current inappropriate location and unacceptable configuration, and set the precedent for other businesses of their ilk to do the same.

It is important to stress again that the increase in these unwanted events in our neighborhood coincides directly with the expansion of Sushi Hai last summer, and their patrons have been universally identified with the incidents that have driven us to this juncture. In a location more suitable for this kind of business, some of these incidences might go unnoticed. Unfortunately, due to our direct proximity to this large club, nearby residents have been forced into the position of unwilling and unpaid business partners – we are as directly affected by the behavior of Sushi Hai patrons as the staff of the nightclub itself. We, the undersigned, support ending the unwarranted and unchecked expansion of Sushi Hai/Hai Bar and other large clubs in the Highlands neighborhood by supporting the revocation all the liquor licenses for Sushi Hai/Hai Bar today.

By signing on to this petition, you can aid your neighbors in our efforts to reclaim the moral values and character of our neighborhood, and ensure that other residents need not suffer future ramifications of short-sighted liquor licensing that we now face every night.

Thank you in advance for your support. Together, we can make a difference.

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The Revoke All Liquor Licenses for Sushi Hai/Hai Bar petition to Highlands neighborhood residents was written by Highlands Residents Association and is in the category Neighborhood Living at GoPetition.