Galla Park at The Banks to rebrand as part of city lawsuit settlement

Galla Park at The Banks to rebrand as part of city lawsuit settlement

CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - Galla Park, a restaurant at The Banks in downtown Cincinnati, will rebrand as part of a lawsuit settlement with the city that will stop attempts to temporarily shut down the business as a nuisance property, FOX19 NOW has confirmed.

City officials sued last month, accusing Galla Park of being the source of underage drinking and disturbances to the peace on and near its location along Joe Nuxhall Way.

Galla Park, which has 60 employees, will now rebrand from an upscale eatery and nightclub into a “gastropub” or steakhouse.

The dance floor is eliminated, and more security will be added, according to a copy of the settlement obtained by FOX19 NOW.

The owner of Galla Park, PMG Cincinnati (Peerless Management Group) will close for about 21 days starting around June 10 to complete the rebranding and reopen around July 1, according to their attorney, Christopher McDowell.

The rebranding will include new menus, new furniture and the change of the name to “Galla Park Gastro.”

Galla Park already was doing most of the changes that are now part of the settlement, McDowell said.

“Galla Park has always tried to be a good partner with the city of Cincinnati and operate a first-class business,” he tells FOX19 NOW.

“They already were doing or planning to do 98% of the items set forth in the agreement. For example, the dance floor has been gone for nearly a year due to COVID-19 and there were no plans to bring back.”

A part of the settlement, PMG Cincinnati, Michael Mercer and Galla Park admit to no wrongdoing and are released from any claims brought up in the original lawsuit.

The city agreed as part of the settlement to not object to the renewal of Galla Park’s liquor license in 2021.

“The City is confident this resolution addresses the public safety issues that existed at Galla Park and expects Galla Park will fulfill their pledge to take full responsibility and provide a safe environment for its patrons,” said a statement from the city manager’s office.

The city sued last month and asked a judge to, in addition to declaring it a nuisance property, temporarily close Galla Park for one year.

In their complaint, the City Solicitor’s Office outlined underage drinking, bar fights and repeated police intervention among the reasons for seeking the nuisance property designation.

Galla Park management has said it takes ‘full responsibility for any and all reported circumstances within our control.”

“We don’t want to put a business out of being able to operate so when a business cooperates and changes its modes of operations so we don’t have the violations we had, that’s great,” Cincinnati City Council Member David Mann said. “I’m glad we can resolve this and of course it will be up to the bar and restaurant to live up to its commitments, but I assume they will.”

PMG Cincinnati, Inc., then announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The bankruptcy case will now be dismissed in the near future in light of the settlement with the city, according to McDowell.

In their complaint, the City Solicitor’s Office outlined underage drinking, bar fights and repeated police intervention among the reasons for seeking the nuisance property designation.

Galla Park management has said it takes ‘full responsibility for any and all reported circumstances within our control.”

Adam Solomon, director of operations for Peerless Management Group, is now the lead manager for Galla Park Cincinnati, replacing Mercer, who will continue accounting at PMG.

PMG is required to hire consultant Linda Kern to provide new bartender, server and management training, as well as to develop a new security program and retrain the security team at Galla Park.

The restaurant proposed weekly or twice-monthly meetings with representatives of the Cincinnati Police Department to keep officials up to date.

The settlement also requires Galla Park to continue existing initiatives with input from Kern, which include:

  • Elimination of the dance club
  • All patrons must be at least 21 years old, with children under 16 only allowed in if accompanied by a parent
  • Use of ID scanners at the doors
  • Continuation of a dress code on weekend nights
  • Two security detail officers on Friday and Saturday nights
  • The venue must close by 8 p.m. on Sunday nights unless it’s a holiday weekend or the Reds or Bengals are scheduled to play
  • Maintain a rule of introducing security staff to each table
  • Maintain a binder at the hostess stand of people who are not permitted in the venue
  • New guests are not permitted in after 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, with lights on at 1 a.m. and venue cleared by 1:30 a.m.
  • No drinking policy for staff
  • No entry to visibly intoxicated people

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