Renton needs to take hard line in north Renton | Our view

Mayor Denis Law has taken a stand in north Renton.

He’s tired of a juvenile justice system that frees young people who are not yet ready to behave themselves, often with dangerous results.

He’s tired of landlords who don’t maintain their properties and don’t bother to do thorough background checks on tenants.

And he’s tired of bars and taverns that become a magnet for patrons who seem bent on firing guns into the air or at each other, sometimes sending errant bullets into front doors.

And so are we. How sad that a child has to move to a different bedroom just to avoid bullets.

Right now, Trophies Bar and Eatery in north Renton is under a magnifying glass. It’s a high priority for enforcement agents with the Washington state Liquor Control Board. And the Renton police officers have made dozens of calls there in the 18 months since it opened.

Trophies certainly isn’t the root of all evil in north Renton. There are societal problems that have dogged the neighborhood for years.

But Trophies, at least as a night club featuring young rap artists, wasn’t the right fit for a neighborhood, not so much because of the music but because of the crowd the music attracted. The rap is gone.

To their credit, the managers are now trying to right the ship, as one says. Maybe a change of music will change the crowd. That’s been tried at other bars in Renton, with limited success, mostly financial.

They are moving away from being a night club to becoming a neighborhood bar that feels like a sports bar. They’ve changed the menu and the music to 80s and 90s cover bands. And they’ve changed the name: Trophies is now Nations Pub:Liq

Still, and this is working against them, we don’t sense they understand the seriousness of the criminal activity that’s happened outside their bar and the liquor violations inside their bar. Because of that activity, they are facing possible eviction.

Nor can they express surprise at the number of police calls to Trophies. Officers show up; reports are made. One of their own security guards was arrested on a Tukwila warrant outside the bar in December by Renton police.

Maybe Trophies can right the ship and become a neighborly neighborhood bar before late June, when its liquor license expires. Law is already on record as asking the state to deny the license renewal, so it already has a foe with a say in the approval process.

We, of course, support local businesses and wish them well. But Nations Pub:liq is on a short leash and time is running out. We can’t support a business that contributes to an unsafe environment. Now we’ll wait and see whether the new format turns them into a good neighbor.


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