Many of you have heard on the news of a 24-year-old man by the name of Nick Wilcox, Jr. who disappeared on New Year’s Day 2013. He was last seen at the Irish Rec Room on Old World 3rd Street in Milwaukee between 1:00am – 2:00am. I have a personal interest in this matter as Nick Jr. is a relative of mine.
The Irish Rec Room had pre-sold tickets for their New Year’s Eve celebration. As I understand, it was $60.00/person for unlimited food and alcohol. Given that the target audience of this establishment is those in their early 20’s, this was an absolute recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, that is exactly what it turned out to be for Nick Jr.
I will not go into the details here, as the information is still very lacking. You can look up the news stories on the search engine of your choice. My larger point is that the Irish Rec Room had demonstrated a pattern of poor business practices leading up to this event. This did not go unnoticed by our elected officials.
The Licenses Committee had revoked the license of the Irish Rec Room for not operating within their plan of operation. When this happens, the establishment has a chance to appeal to the full Common Council, which they did. The full council upheld the decision at their December 2012 meeting and the Irish Rec Room was given a closure date of January 18, 2013. The Irish Rec Room then went to court and received an injunction from the judge until the matter is resolved. This means they can stay open a couple of more months until their court date. My sources inside City Hall stated that the judge will most certainly shut it down and the bar knows it. The bar just wants to make as much money as they can until that date. Their New Year’s Eve celebration was part of this plan. I doubt they put much thought into possible consequences.
I am a strong advocate of individual responsibility. People need to be responsible for their own actions. This applies to business owners as well. The City of Milwaukee does not flippantly revoke licenses. The establishment had to be showing a pattern of violations. The Licenses Committee and Common Council did a great job of identifying this poor behavior and took the appropriate actions to shut down the Irish Rec Room. Unfortunately, it was too late for Nick Jr. I urge the Milwaukee City Attorney to bring the New Year’s Eve debacle to the attention of the judge and ask that the injunction be lifted and the Irish Rec Room be permanently closed. This is the only thing that will prevent another incident from happening at that establishment.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Nick Wilcox, Jr., please contact the Milwaukee Police Department at 414-935-7403. You can download the flyer HERE. For more information regarding the status of the Irish Rec Room, you may call the Licenses Division at 414-286-2238.