Jeremy Gaston/Herald-Chronicle

Wayne White | Managing Editor

OSAGE CITY—Less than three months after becoming the first business to be licensed for sidewalk dining in downtown Osage City under a new ordinance, the Sportsman’s Club has also become the first business to have its sidewalk dining license suspended.

Osage City Manager Nick Hernandez issued an emergency suspension Aug. 3, citing the arrest of the bar’s owner, Michael Capra, 50, on a charge of aggravated assault. The assault was alleged to have occurred in the wrought iron enclosed dining area in front of the business at 611 Market St., according to information Hernandez provided to the Osage City Council.

Hernandez also alleged numerous violations of the business’ sidewalk dining permit had occurred since the license was issued May 19. Most of the alleged violations pertained to customers gathering in the area during times not permitted.

Capra was arrested by the Osage City Police Department at the business Aug. 2 on one charge of aggravated assault.

According to a complaint filed in Osage County District Court July 27, by Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones, an incident on July 17 prompted the charge. The complaint alleged Capra placed Joshua Bailey, 26, Burlingame, in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm with a deadly weapon. An offense report filed by the Osage City Police Department indicates witnesses said a handgun was used in the alleged assault.

The charge against Capra is a severity level 7 person felony, with a minimum penalty of 11 months in prison or up to a $100,000 fine.

Capra was booked into the Osage County Jail the day he was arrested, and released on a $2,000 surety bond.

Contacted Monday, Capra would not comment on his arrest or the suspension of the sidewalk dining permit, but he confirmed he had closed the bar indefinitely. The owners of a next-door restaurant, Caffe Thyme, which was connected to the bar by an interior doorway, had closed that business without prior notice July 30. Hernandez had set a license hearing before the city council for Tuesday of this week. In a memo provided to the council, Hernandez said city staff’s recommendation was revocation of Capra’s sidewalk dining license as a result of the alleged permit violations and reported incidents.

In addition to the allegations of violations of permitted hours of occupancy of the outside dining area, Hernandez’s list of incidents included those that police responded to, such as reports of Capra yelling at passers-by, shooting fireworks, and a verbal argument in the street.

Osage City’s sidewalk dining ordinance was first considered by the Osage City Council in September, after Capra’s request to the Osage City Planning and Zoning Commission for a variance to allow sidewalk dining at the then-named Last Call Bar.

The planning and zoning commission instructed Hernandez to draft an ordinance allowing downtown sidewalk dining for the council’s consideration.

Later that month, the council approved an ordinance that stipulated a six-foot sidewalk easement, wrought iron fencing surrounding the dining area, and 30 percent of sales must be derived from sale of food. The ordinance set an annual $2 per square foot fee. The ordinance also gave the city manager authority to immediately suspend the license to protect public health, safety and welfare.

A sidewalk dining and hospitality license was issued to the Sportsman’s Club May 19, after which the fence was erected, enclosing two tables with chairs and umbrellas.

The wrought-iron enclosure and tables were removed from the sidewalk Aug. 3.

Hernandez said Monday the city had not ordered the removal of the structure, and any other action by the city was pending the council’s decision during Tuesday night’s hearing. He noted that although the city had suspended the sidewalk dining permit, no action had been taken by the city to revoke the business’ alcoholic beverage license.

“All we did was take away his right to [serve] outside,” Hernandez said.