Troubled Brandy’s liquor store shut down by city

September 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Breaking News, Featured, News

brandysBrandy’s Market on West Michigan and Summit in Ypsilanti has been shut down by the city after a month long investigation by the City of Ypsilanti Police and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

Brandy’s is located at 902 West Michigan Avenue and has been owned by the Cathy and Samir Hanna since 1999. Before then it was called Forbes Market.

The controversial store has had a long history of problems with the City and neighbors. The owners in 2009 signed a consent decree with the City to continue operations after the city filed suit declaring the property a nuisance. A report indicated the store had over 100 calls for service, twice as many calls for police service than any other store or location in the city. The two year consent order expired yesterday, September 1, 2010.

According to the Ypsilanti Police, YPD and Michigan Liquor Control Commission executed a search warrant at 11am today. The search warrant stemmed from several complaints that individuals inside the store were purchasing stolen items and illegally distributing tobacco products. During the month long investigation undercover officers sold numerous items requested by store staff and purchased tobacco that was illegaly sold.

In Michigan, tobacco products cannot be sold without a tax stamp, which precludes the selling of individual cigarettes. Brandy’s has been accused in the past of breaking apart packs of cigarettes and selling them as ‘singles’. It is unclear if today’s search warrant alleges a similar charge.

During the search, police noted what appeared to be building code violations and called both the Ypsilanti Fire and Building departments to the scene. City inspectors found numerous health and safety concerns and the store was condemned and shuttered.

The liquor store across the street called Cal’s, was also condemned by the city in 2008. The owners of Brandy’s purchased Cal’s and the store has remained closed since it was sold. A quick check shows that Cal’s is still condemned thus preventing the owners of Brandy’s from re-opening across the street.

The case has been turned over to the County Prosecutor for review to determine what, if any, charges will be filed against the owners and employees.

Brandy’s Liquor Shoppe to remain open

March 6, 2009 by  
Filed under News

brandysOwners of Brandy’s Liquor store and the City of Ypsilanti have resolved a nuisance lawsuit and the store will remain open. Judge Timothy Connors signed the Consent Order on Thursday.

Brandy’s is located at 902 West Michigan Avenue and has been owned by the Cathy and Samir Hanna since 1999. Before then it was called Forbes Market.

Residents and neighborhood associations have long complained about chronic problems with trash, loitering, crime, and drug sales in and around the store.

In 2008, the City of Ypsilanti filed suit against Brandy’s declaring the business a public nuisance.

The police department had documented some 200 calls for service over a nearly 14 month period in 2007 and 2008. That was three times as many calls as other party stores in Ypsilanti.

Samir Hanna had denied any wrong doing telling Ypsilanti City Council in December his store was no worse than any other liquor store in town.

The terms of the agreement are as follows:

  • Brandy’s will join and attend regular neighborhood association meetings in Midtown and Heritage Park.
  • Brandy’s and City will meet monthly to discuss compliance with this order.
  • Brandy’s will provide the Ypsilanti Police Department access to their video surveillance system as needed to identify potential criminal activity and will maintain video system in proper working order.
  • Brandy’s will take all necessary actions to operate their business in an orderly, lawful, peaceful, and quite manner and to not allow or permit any action or behavior that would be a nuisance.
  • Brandy’s will decrease hours of operation by closing at 12 midnight Sunday through Wednesday, close at 1:30a on Thursday, and 2am on Friday and Saturday.
  • Brandy’s’ will maintain private security for two years from 6pm to closing. In 2009 security is from April 1 until September 1. In 2010 Brandy’s must have private security from Memorial Day until September 1.
  • No consumption of alcohol on the premises by employees or patrons.
  • Brandy’s will maintain proper lighting around the store and parking lot.
  • Brandy’s will monitor the premises at all times to discourage loitering and will use private security, when present, to address violations before contacting police.
  • Brandy’s will sell no drug paraphernalia (i.e., small baggies, pipes, screens, etc.)

Upon compliance with these terms, the Consent Order between the City and Brandy’s expires September 1, 2010.

Consent Agreement City of Ypsilanti v. Brandy’s March 5, 2009