The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 29, 2013

Janesville liquor store re-opens after being left in lurch

JANESVILLE — An insurance company’s oversight and duty-bound city officials led to the quick closing — and even quicker re-opening — of Janesville’s only liquor store.

Mr. C’s was shuttered Wednesday afternoon after the city learned its liquor liability insurance payment hadn’t been made.

City Administrator Clinton Rogers said such businesses must be insured in order to obtain or retain city-issued liquor licenses.

The City Council told owner John Mahoney that without complying with that requirement within 48 hours the business would be closed.

The closure happened at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. But by that time the next day it was back in business, and Roger’s provides the back story:

“On Monday morning the insurance company told us (the store’s) insurance had been canceled.”

Rogers later contacted the company to ferret out the telling details.

 “We called and said, ‘What’s going on?’ and that’s when they said it was an error on their part.”

Turns out the insurance company had forgotten to bill Mahoney when he applied for his liquor license last year, and it’s unclear whether Mahoney realized the insurance hadn’t been paid.

Mahoney could not be reached for comment Friday.

The store was allowed to reopen when the city learned the payment had been made.

Liquor stores and bars are required to have so-called dram shop insurance, which covers a business in the event claims relating to liquor are made against it.  

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