Santa Monica’s Broadway Ale House, formerly Fifth Amendment Alehouse, was shuttered in December and its liquor license stripped, after the owner was investigated for selling drugs from the bar, arrested for drug possession, and later, sale of liquor to a minor. ToddRickAllen draws our attention to a story that broke late last month that finds owner Eden Beloved Noe charged with cocaine possession, among other drug charges, after a special police investigation was launched in the wake of accusations that the bar was being used to sell cocaine and marijuana to customers (one astute Grub Street commenter noted these rumors way back in August 2010).
In the midst of the probe, Noe was found with cocaine in her trunk ("I don’t know how much weight she was moving," one police sergeant suggestively says), which she was arrested and completed a rehab program for, with two of three charges dropped. Following that, she was busted selling liquor to an underage police decoy last spring in what she claims was a targeted set-up, losing her liquor license, which is reportedly in the process of being transferred to one Mark Jason Marquez.
As to charges that she’d be selling drugs from behind the bar, she admits to Santa Monica Patch that drugs were sold at the bar, but not by her, just by a "crazy-ass" employee with a "severe cocaine problem" who "wasn’t ever arrested." She goes on to argue that her sale of alcohol to a police decoy was a targeted set-up by aggressive police who were disgruntled that her initial drug charges were dropped.
Noe tells Patch, "The drug cop who did the investigation was pissed off my case was dismissed, so he sent a decoy while there was a pub crawl going on to get me for sale to minor…The decoy got in line with the pub crawl, so that was extremely sneaky. The cop was pissed, so he wanted to harass me with something else."
The police department, meanwhile, insists that the bar was just one of 30 that was targeted with an underage decoy during the same pub crawl. Noe reflects on her troubles, "I’ve learned in 2011 that life is unfair and the police aren’t exactly out to catch the bad people…The bad ones are the ones who get away."
Strangely, this situation is not the first that finds a low-key Santa Monica bar at the center of accusations it’s a front for drug sales. In April 208, dive classic the Joker was the center of a police investigation that alleged two employees were dealing cocaine from behind the bar. Is no one satisfied with a simple stiff drink anymore?