Bangor Grants Mall Entertainment Center Permit for Live Music and Dance
Bangor City Councils unanimously gave a local entertainment company a conditional amusement permit, allowing it to offer live performances and dancing after a well-attended public hearing.
G-Force Entertainment is located in Bangor Mall and features live music, dancing and karaoke as well as laser tag, ax throwing, corn hole and arcade games. Perhaps most notably, last summer G-Force hosted Fetty Wap, an American rapper who topped the music charts in 2015 with his single “Trap Queen.”
The condition of G-Force’s new specialty amusement license requires owners to meet with the Bangor Police Chief, City Police Officer and City Attorney within 30 days to ensure the company’s enhanced security measures meet public concerns City to take account of excessive consumption and disorderly behavior in business.
The need for enhanced security measures arose following an incident of disorderly conduct late last month.
About 16 people spoke during Monday night’s public hearing in support of G-Force, including past and present employees, people who have performed there and people who visit the entertainment center.
Several speakers said the only reason they are visiting Bangor is to come to G-Force and if it closes they probably won’t be going back. Others discussed how the store and the customers it attracts have breathed new life into the ailing Bangor Mall. More pointed out how owner Brian Plavnick employs several people with special needs who may have had trouble finding jobs elsewhere.
Although G-Force received a city liquor license when it moved from its original Brewer location to Bangor Mall in 2021, it never applied for a special entertainment permit that allows the company to host live performances and dances, according to Lisa Goodwin, Bangor city employee.
The company has a state entertainment license but was unaware that local approval was also required, Plavnick wrote in a statement.
“In the two cases where we received the (state) license, nobody informed us that we also need one from the city,” Plavnick wrote.
The issue of Plavnick’s lack of a permit arose after Bangor Police responded when someone fired a gun at 1am on February 26 in the Bangor Mall parking lot where G-Force patrons park, the police chief said by Bangor, Mark Hathaway.
Although the people who fired the gun had left when police arrived, officers spoke to G-Force patrons and employees and learned that there had been a dispute between patrons within G-Force before the shooting, they said Hathaway.
Following a disorderly conduct situation at a business, Hathaway said he was checking with the city to ensure the business had the necessary permits so police could work with the owner to prevent future incidents.
After the company was told it needed a permit, the owner applied for one, Goodwin said.
Standard procedure requires the city council to hold a public hearing and then issue final approval for each special amusement permit, Goodwin said.
The Plavnicks met with Hathaway and the Bangor City Attorney and Code Enforcement Officer earlier this month to discuss Hathaway’s concerns about overconsumption and disorderly conduct on site, as well as steps the company could be taking to keep staff and customers safe from G-Force, Hathaway said.
These steps include stepping up bag checks upon entry into the store, improving training for security guards and alcohol waiters, and repairing their CCTV system.
“We expect no more from the Plavnicks than we do from any other company,” Hathaway said.
Despite lacking the necessary permits, Goodwin was unaware of any subpoenas G-Force may have received from the city in recent years.
In the meantime, Plavnick said the company canceled several upcoming live performances and refunded the tickets.
“This ‘shutdown’ of entertainment has cost us tens of thousands of dollars,” Plavnick wrote in a statement. “We are unsure whether we can recover.”
City councilors also gave final approval for the Community Connector bus system to move from a flag-stop system to a fixed-stop system after a 2019 transit study found that a fixed-stop system improved efficiency, predictability and increase reliability for drivers.
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