The Sandbar Lounge in Casper has gotten preliminary approval for lifting most of the restriction placed on its operations over the last two years ago.

Casper's Chief of Police, Chris Walsh, addressed City Council at its work session Thursday. He describes the problems that led to the two year tightening of lounge management.

"It required an inordinate amount of police time. There was violence. There was over serving. It was a nuisance not only to the neighbors, but to the city in general as it was spread out from there. The restrictions were put on there to reduce the opportunities for that, if you will."

The new owner/manager, Nancy Goddard was praised by council and Chief Walsh for the work done to clean up the bars image.

"The new ownership has worked hard to clean up the bar, to clean up the image that the bar also had. It develops  an image and a reputation and then it starts drawing people in that are gonna create those problems. Its reached a point now where it seems like most of those can be removed and it can now operate under the same guidelines as any other bar in town."

In reviewing the conditions and restrictions, city staff kept in place limits on use of the Sandbar's outdoor area. Patrons will still be required to move inside no later than 10pm.

The process of  city council deciding whether to  lift  restrictions revealed that  lounge management had assumed a later closing time,  serving  until 2 a.m. , for much of the last two years when restrictions had called for no service after 11pm.  City council and law enforcement have not let that change their preliminary decision.

City staff also recommends that former owner, Roger Hessler, continue to be prohibited from ever gaining or having any ownership interest in the Sandbar liquor license.

Final vote on the approval is scheduled for the May 3rd city council meeting.