SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The temporary suspension at Samuel's Tap and Tavern in Springfield begins tonight as the licensing director for the city of Springfield is speaking out.
The suspension comes as a result of our Western Mass News exclusive investigation into the disappearance of Achim Bailey.
The 23-year-old Springfield man was last seen leaving the bar in January of 2019 and was found dead in the Connecticut River two months later.
The city's license commission determined Samuel's did not follow their security plan when Achim left the bar and suspended their entertainment license for two nights beginning tonight.
The two-day suspension of the entertainment license was handed down by Springfield Mayor Sarno.
The bar can still serve food and alcohol, but tonight and tomorrow, patrons must eat and drink against a silent background, as the suspension only pertains to entertainment elements within the bar.
Still, the licensing director says it sends a message to bar owners about the importance of security.
"Is it a punishment? Sure it is, especially if you’re used to having a DJ or having entertainment. Even just in a casual sort of restaurant environment, there’s usually some sort of entertainment, be it tv or music, and so they won’t be able to have that," Alesia Days, the Licensing Director for the city of Springfield, tells us.
Samuel's Tap and Tavern issued a two-day entertainment license suspension after Mayor Domenic Sarno and the License Commission say they did not follow their security plan the night 23-year-old Achim Bailey went missing after leaving the establishment.
Bailey was found dead two months later in the Connecticut River in March of 2019.
Now, on orders from the mayor, the bar must update its security plan and submit it next week and include more security staff, a stricter plan for documenting inappropriate or dangerous incidents inside the establishment, and they must inform the License Commission every time their cameras malfunction.
Those were issues identified in the License Commission's ruling on Samuel's following an exclusive investigation by Western Mass News into the night Bailey went missing.
"We want people to follow their security plans and when they don’t, there’s implications that come with that. You lose your entertainment license for a period of time," continued Days.
Licensing Director Alesia Days says Samuel's will have three suspension days held in abeyance, meaning the bar won't have to serve them unless there's another violation at the establishment in the near future.
"It could be any infraction. It doesn’t even have to be related to their security plan. If there was underage drinking inside, if they were violated because they had patrons in the restaurant or in the bar after 2:00 a.m., so could be a number of things," said Days.
Western Mass News went to Samuel's earlier in the day for comment, but they declined to speak.
Days says the goal of a bar should match the goal of the License Commission: to ensure people are safe following a night out.
"A bar owner's responsibility does not end when someone walks out of a door," added Days.