Derrick Ware says he closed the doors to his bar in January for an after-hours party, allowing a group of family members in mourning to drink after a funeral.
"I guess they just wanted to get out," he told the city's nine-member Beer and Wrecker Board on Thursday.
However, by allowing about 20 people to drink at The Den Sports Bar & Lounge at 3:30 a.m., Ware found himself facing a three-day suspension of his beer license. Under city rules, alcohol cannot be served after 3 a.m. and the board voted 8-1 to issue the suspension.
"In hindsight, I understand we should have had everyone gone at 3 a.m. That was a bad judgment call on myself," Ware said.
The suspension at the club, at 1200 E. 23rd St., begins at 8 a.m. today.
The bar also received a written notice for disorderly conduct after police found evidence of marijuana when they entered the bar to shut down the Jan. 23 party.
Police said they had to knock for 20 minutes before someone opened the locked front door to the business.
No one at the club faces narcotics charges from the incident because no one could be linked to the marijuana, according to police.
Ware denied that there were drugs inside the bar.