Transient Man Arrested After Re-Opening Bar and Selling Drinks

A California man has been arrested for a fairly unique crime; breaking into a closed bar, re-opening it, and serving drinks for days. Travis Kevie, 29, is a transient in Auburn, California who spotted the shuttered Valancia Club and decided to go into the bar business. The thing that proved his undoing was the media.

Kevie started small. He bought a six pack of beer and sold it at the bar. He then used those profits to buy more booze and was soon serving 30 customers. That led to a newspaper story about the re-opening of the historic Valencia Club under its new owner, Kevie. One of the readers was a detective who not only knew the club’s alcohol license was suspended by knew Kevie.

He is still working the bars but at the Placer County Jail where he is facing charges of burglary and selling alcohol without a license. Presumed drink of choice: Alabama Slammer, of course.

Source: CBS and Auburn Journal.

38 thoughts on “Transient Man Arrested After Re-Opening Bar and Selling Drinks”

  1. Byron,

    Well the Craft Brew revolution had a lot to do with a lot of things, and I’d never put all of the credit for Colorado’s beer culture on the law, but it did help matters along.

    I generally think of it as a targeted anti-monopoly law, which are the ultimate example of regulations enabling competition.

    I left out that CO has two of the big 5 or 6 breweries as well. Coors in Golden and the AB brewery in Fort Collins.

    Just to make you jealous…,+CO&view=text&ei=7M1JTIaRIIiCsQPDrYRJ&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CCkQtwMwAA

  2. Gyges:

    god dam how do you get any work done, a friggin winery with a humidor, is Colorado heaven?

    Very interesting. I wonder how many other regulations have “good” unintended consequences? This would be a good doctoral dissertation if it hasn’t been done yet.

    But I must say it is a bit counter intuitive. Before prohibition there were literally hundreds of small breweries in the US, mostly started by German immigrants, they went belly up during prohibition and only the larger ones were able to hang on. That happened in an era of a basically free market but without the super stores of today. So what it sounds like is happening is that the regulation has taken the super store out of the equation leaving small brewers to flourish.

    However it could also be that people just like micro brews better than Coors, Miller and Bud, I know I do and will not drink one of those beers anymore. I still remember the first time I had a micro brew and thought “now I know what all the fuss is about”. Up until that time I thought beer was the color of piss and was filtered water with a little rubbing alcohol thrown in for taste.

    I tend to think it has more to do with the resurgence of good taste in beer, food and wine than the regulations. These small brew pubs could still sell to large retail stores. It also probably has something to do with the affluence of the surrounding area. We have a shit pot full of wineries here in Virginia but wine and beer are sold in super markets and drugstores and 7-11’s and Wal Mart super centers. So there is some doubt in my mind as to the regulation causing competition. But it is a very interesting hypothesis nonetheless and one that I will look into. It does go against the grain of what I have learned, but then that makes it all the more interesting.

    Thank you for bringing it up.

  3. Byron,

    I can if they package their beer (if not I have to settle for a growler). I have a brewpub about 5 min. away I fill my growler at, plus 3 or 4 breweries within a 30 min. of driving. Probably another 20 or so if within an hour and a half, not to mention at least two distilleries and who knows how many wineries (the one down the street from me also has a nice walk in humidor). I have 4 MEGA liquor stores within 20 min. of driving, and countless others within 10 min. a good chunk of which specialize and have a beer, wine, whiskey, or etc. selection that rivals the big ones.

    I happen to know several employees at the breweries, as well as having talked to their sales people, and a few people who do beer importing, and they all say the same thing: States that don’t allow regular beer to be sold at grocery stores have higher craft\micro sales. In fact, I know at least one brewery that started in CO, because it was easier to get a foothold in this market, and then once they grew into the national market, moved back to the owner’s home state (Flying Dog).

    Every five years or so the issue comes up on the ballot, and among the people fighting to keep the present system are the breweries. To me, that speaks volumes.

  4. Mike A:

    You execute down in Florida for liquor license violations?
    And you dont even get your day in court?

  5. Gyges:

    while it is helping local breweries apparently it hurts other establishments.

    Can you get a six pack to go at your local brew pub or restaurant?

    I am wondering if the license laws are the actual cause of this renaissance of beer.

    But I wont accuse you of causal dissonance as Buddha is ever want to do with me. 🙂

  6. Gyges and Byron, let me add my voice in favor of liquor licenses. I’ve found from experience that sending the sheriff out to execute on a liquor license virtually guarantees that the judgment will be satisfied the same day.

  7. Byron,

    Restaurants are excluded, as are breweries.

    You might think it’s a silly law, but it doesn’t hinder business, it actually helps business in concrete ways. Which is why I brought it up in rebuttal to your statement, “This is exactly why regulations like liquor licenses and business licenses are an impediment to business growth.” It’s a liquor license, and has a positive net effect on business growth.

    All I’m going for is for you to realize that regulation isn’t always detrimental to business. Think of it like speed limits. On the whole, they decrease commute times, because there are less accidents and a more uniform flow of traffic, even though if you personally were exempt, you’d get to work quicker.

  8. Gyges:

    I am still unsure how this works. Can a restaurant have more than one selling beer? Can I have 3 different breweries in different parts of the state?

    It sounds like a pretty silly law.

  9. Yissil,

    I was using the common use definition of trespass, not the legal. That is: He was on someone else’s property without their permition.


    If you sell alcohol for consumption somewhere else (so basically aren’t a bar or restaurant), the company can only have a liquor license for one location, and each person can only own one company with a liquor license. That’s simplifying it quite a bit, but it works for now. As an educated guess I’d say this was enacted as a way to break up Mob control of liquor, and I bet there’s some laws on the distribution end I don’t know about to.

    Anyway, my point is that this regulation HELPS increase competition, and that your knee jerk reaction of “regulation stifles business,” is dead wrong in this case.

    As to why so many brewers are located in CO, it’s probably a combination of all those factors. Included in ‘those factors’ is the fact that it’s comparatively easy to get your product on liquor store shelves because of the fact that they’re (mostly) local businesses, who make their own choices on what to carry.

  10. Also, B, it helps to define acceptable threshold of loss up front. While this would be more difficult in the legal/political world than it would be in business where there are going to be less competing factors vying to define acceptable, it’s still not impossible.

  11. Byron,

    I didn’t say it would be easy. A complex PA is anything but easy. I’ve done many more than one. And as far as metrics go? It’s usually a C/B analysis but sometimes no C/B can be had that doesn’t involve losses of some sort – either direct or in the form of operational inefficiencies. At that point, there needs to be a decision as to what constitutes an acceptable loss. Unfortunately it often comes down to an arbitrary decision. But no one ever said life was fair, just that we should design our systems to be as fair as possible. Sometimes that will by necessity take a little guess work.

  12. Just reading through and would offer a small correction: There is no mention of trespassing. The charge is break and enter.

  13. Buddha:

    I could accept that approach. I like Deming a great deal and was even lucky enough to go to one of his last seminars in 1992. He was a brilliant man.

    So you are saying continuous improvement of regulations? But how do you agree on a measurement and do you weigh that against the the cost of the regulation? For example if we remove 2 ppm of something at $100 but to remove 3 ppm it will cost $1000 how do you determine if the cost is worth the %50 change? If 2 people are dying at 2 ppm but only 1.5 people are dying at 3 ppm how do you determine if the regulation is even any good because 2.25 people were dying at 0 ppm removal.

    It just seems really complicated to determine the best course of action and when all is said and done you don’t even know if you are achieving the optimal solution.

  14. Byron,

    As always, functionality is king.

    I’ll leave aside that simple is aways better for simple problems. That’s a mathematical given complexity theory. But for complex systems?

    Define the purpose of the legislation and then do a Deming style performance analysis. Pick the performance you want to measure. Define metrics appropriate to capture that function. Collect data. Analyze. If the legislation isn’t performing as desired? It’s bad and needs to be re-evaluated and reformulated based on the data from the PA or scrapped and a different approach taken. This being said, sometimes the problems found in PA’s are not the isolated system proper but external forces impacting the system. Like your lobbyist example. The problem in most of those cases isn’t the legislation/regulation proper as originally intended so much as external distortions in purpose and functionality created by lobbyists graft interference with development and deployment.

    This is, again, the conjunct argument to “size is irrelevant”. Big government, small government, what’s the difference as functionality is the only valid metric to apply.

  15. Buddha:

    I see your point. But I worry that since people make the regulations they are imperfect and from my experience with an industry association (i.e. lobbyist) I learned that these people make regulations that impede competition by trying to have their industry receive favorable status, sometimes to the detriment of another industry. Work for one in DC for a year and see if you don’t come to my conclusion, it is one of the reasons that I think those some bitches ought to be eliminated and the sooner the better.

    Even if only government workers made those regulations I would worry that personal biases would have the same effect. Joe Kennedy, the first head of the SEC (I think), had a hand in the depression in the 30’s.

    There are too many unintended consequences of regulations, even if they are made with good intentions, for anyone or any group to anticipate all of the probable outcomes. I don’t disagree that some are probably necessary but how do you know what is good and what is bad? You could with the simple ones but what about ones that are complicated and regulate complicated systems?

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