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Crime

Troubled Long Beach Bikini Bar Closed Indefinitely Over Alleged Narcotics Sales

11:04 AM PDT on August 1, 2022

via bottomsuptavernlbc2/Instagram

Bottoms Up Tavern #2, a Long Beach bar that was the scene of a horrific tragedy in 2019, was stripped of its liquor license and shut down this past weekend, alongside allegations that the dive was the site of illegal drug sales.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) slapped the bar with a notice that its liquor license had been indefinitely suspended yesterday, following an investigation that the owners were operating "a disorderly premises" rife with narcotics sales.

The ABC investigation was reportedly started after a fatal car crash this past March, in which the intoxicated driver of a Dodge truck slammed into a North Long Beach apartment building, killing a father and his three-year-old daughter before fleeing on foot.

There was suspicion and later confirmation from the owner that the driver had stopped at Bottoms Up before the crash, leading to scrutiny of the bar and its practices. Protestors also rallied at the bar, calling on the city to shut it down.

Meanwhile, Long Beach police have reportedly been a frequent presence at the bar's Artesia Boulevard address.

According to the story, sales of coke, ecstasy, oxycodone, and cannabis were all reported at the bar, which is known for bikini-clad bartenders and the appearance of its original Orange County location on the show Bar Rescue.

In 2019, a man terrorized patrons and employees with a gun at this Long Beach location, holding hostages before shooting and killing a recently hired 44-year-old bar-back named Manuel Marquez and wounding a cook. The gunman himself was shot and killed by police.

The bar's 3-star Yelp page also alleges that the bikini sports bar may have been providing other services for vice-seeking customers, with one allegation of "Female bartenders giving lap dances and taking the money and hiding it in there bras... And them walking away to the restroom with customers."

Other negative reviews simply didn't care for the micheladas, unfriendly service, or Sharpie-scrawled bathroom. And then there's... whatever this is.

In any case, Suzie Blevins, the bar's owner, has apparently signed an agreement dictating that the liquor license must be transferred to a new owner outside within 180 days and is not allowed to operate the business in Long Beach.

In a two-part Instagram post, Blevins puts some of the blame for the closure on city councilman Rex Richardson, claiming he slandered the bar's good name to the point that it became difficult to operate. She denies that anyone behind the business was knowingly selling drugs, claiming they were aware of a potential sting operation in which their participation had originally been sought.

Blevins admits that the sloppy hiring of a doorman from New York who connected undercover agents to make purchases with a local drug dealer, as well as Long Beach's "out of control" cocaine problem, is what ultimately led to the bar's association with narcotics sales. She says the closure comes because the owners lack the time or money to put up a fight in the face of so much city-sanctioned harassment.

Meanwhile, the business reports that is has moved to a stretch of Alondra Avenue in Bellflower on its Instagram page. But as far as Long Beach goes, it's officially a wrap on Bottoms Up Tavern operating there again.

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