Neighbors Want Liquor Store Shut Down

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The market has been busted four times in the past three years for selling alcohol to underage kids...and now local residents are asking City Council to shut it down.

The problem is, the Dhanshree just changed owners.

The Reno City Council met this morning to decide whether or not to approve a new liquor license for the Dhanshree Market, under new ownership.

The Reno Police Chief and Wells Avenue residents urged the council to deny the liquor license, but under current city law, it's not quite that easy.

The council heard testimony from several neighbors of the Dhanshree, who all say the infamous liquor store needs to go.

"It truly is a hovel. It's a dark, dank place and it attracts undesirables," said Griff Durham who lives near the market.

Police say graffiti, crime and underage drinking have all been products of the store owner's poor judgment.

"But mainly it's alcohol sales to minors that has been occurring there for a number of years," said Mike Poehlman, Reno Police Chief.

KOLO 8 and RPD's street enforcement team did an undercover sting on the Dhanshree over a year ago, catching the owners in the act, and it wasn't the first time. The previous owners of the store were also caught selling alcohol to minors.

"We noticed the owner at that time and when we went to have their license revoked, they sold to the existing owner. Now we went to get this owner's license revoked, and they're selling to somebody else," said Poehlman.

That somebody else is Paramjit Singh, a man who goes by the same last name as the current owner. And that's not the only similarity...police say both owners, as well as the one before them, were all members of the Sikh temple on Locust street. The Danshree has switched hands several times since it opened, but the phone number has never changed.

"It's this recurring pattern. When they get in trouble, and are in fear of losing their license, they change ownership, so the city, the police, the licensing department, all of them have to start over with a clean slate," said Durham.

Police say they can't deny a liquor license based on problem's in the Dhanshree's past.

"What the city code allows us to do is look at the criminal record of that applicant, and as long as the record is clean, I have no grounds to deny that," said Poehlman.

Te current owners are schedule to appear in court in two weeks for the two charges of selling to minors...both of those took place just back in Mach.

The City Council voted to continue the session for approving the new liquor license, until those legal procedures are through...and they can further research the relationship between the old and new owners.