DANBURY -- The Heirloom Arts Theatre -- the Main Street venue for the area's independent rock music scene -- was shut down Saturday night amid allegations of illegal sale of alcohol.
Records of the investigation by the Danbury Police Department's Special Investigations unit were unavailable Monday, but Mayor Mark Boughton confirmed people at the theater were arrested on charges of selling alcohol to minors.
City Zoning Enforcement Officer Sean Hearty said he would suspend the club's zoning permit Tuesday.
The theater's website calls it "Danbury's artistic and cultural alternative continuing the legacy of the space, a space that is a true heirloom of the past."
It has acts booked until mid-August.
Hearty said Monday city officials had received complaints about The Heirloom operating as a cafe and selling alcohol. The club's zoning permit does not allow that.
"They were not supposed to be operating a cafe," he said.
About 11 p.m. Saturday, Hearty said, he and members of the Special Investigations Division went to the club and found it was selling alcohol.
To do this, Hearty said, the people selling the alcohol were using a catering license, which allows the temporary sale of alcohol at an event.
The license was clearly not supposed to be used in a permanent location, he said.
"Think about it," Hearty said: "You could use a catering license to open up anywhere."
Hearty said after he revokes the club's permit, there will have to be a hearing to determine whether the owners can reopen.
Boughton has proposed changes in the city's licensing ordinances to allow the sale of alcohol in downtown clubs. He has said he hopes to have those changes ready by September.
The Mercurial, an online arts magazine, originally reported the raid was a combined effort of the police and Boughton's office, but later said Hearty told them it was a joint operation by police and the Zoning department.
Boughton took to Twitter Monday and Tuesday to explain that he was not involved in organizing the raid, after several of his Twitter followers asked if he had initiated it. The mayor said a parent made a complaint to the police of alcohol being served at the venue.
Boughton Tweeted that the venue is expected to reopen.
"I love the music at the Heirloom, they can reopen, they have to follow the law," Boughton tweeted. "If someone got hurt there, the owners, promoters, the City would be liable."
Phone calls to The Heirloom went unanswered Monday.