101 Cantina: Police Reports From Boca Bar Detail Drunk Talk, Bottle-Smashing, Puking in Cop Cars
When 101 Cantina -- the same popular bar made famous first in Gainesville -- opened in June 2013, FAU students were happy to patronize the place.
Photo by Michelle Friswell
On March 17, the Sun Sentinel reported that since its inception, 98 arrests have been made on 101 Cantina's premises and that the vast majority -- 78 -- of said arrests have been for, you guessed it, underage drinking, including one woman who walked around the place with her underwear by her ankles screaming at police.
In a phone interview, the vice president of marketing for 101 Management Group LLC, which manages 101 Cantina, says the bar has in place strict protocols to prevent underage drinking.
Ryan Prodesky said, "We've got a standard security protocol that we've implemented here that involves not only one I.D. but sometimes two forms of I.D., plus an I.D. scanner if there's a question about the I.D.
"I attribute it to, you know, people that want to break the law are breaking the law, I guess. We do everything within our power to attempt to prevent it, but when someone comes in with a fake I.D. that can fool the scanners we have in place, it's really tough to police that."
Prodesky said the company added more stringent policies to verify I.D. "before" there was media coverage about all of the arrests but said the protocols were only put in a place "a couple of weeks" before the Sun Sentinel story came out.
(He also suggested that the media coverage stemmed from old arrests and that better systems had been put in place this year. Forty-six of the 98 arrests occurred in 2014.)
Still, angry residents who live near the bar have been public in their thoughts about 101 Cantina, calling it too loud, among other things. Outgoing Mayor Susan Whelchel shared that sentiment at her last City Council meeting this past Tuesday, according to the Sun Sentinel. "We want the place either to follow the law and act and be responsible or we want it shut down," she said. "I don't want it to be there. Nobody up here wants it to be there."
Prodesky, however, said he hadn't heard directly from anyone who works for the city and added, "I think from the mayor's standpoint, it's a bit irresponsible and an antibusiness stance to have without reaching out and digging into what the issue is. We take our relationships with whatever city government we work with very serious. We like to operate in cities that are pro-business and pro-growth, and we look around and see all the development and potential in this city and we're excited about it. Moving forward, we're excited to work with a city government that operates in the interests not only of the residents in mind but in the interests of businesses too."
Both outgoing Mayor Whelchel and incoming Mayor Susan Haynie were unavailable for comment. We'll update you if either responds, but in the meantime, we pored over all the police records and found a sampling of incidents that provide a fuller picture of the arrests that have happened at Cantina. Here are five:
5. When 19-year-old Deneille Lamendola entered 101 Cantina on January 15 earlier this year, she had on all her clothes.
But after she caused a disturbance inside the place (leading to a few fights starting), she was asked to leave, according to a police report. She did, but not before yelling "fuck police" and "fuck troll."
Officers went outside to make sure Lamendola left and found her near a parked car -- with her underwear down to her ankles. "Fuck the police," she yelled. She was peeing on a curb and talking on her cell phone while four guys looked on, the report states.
Lamendola was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct. She asked what for. When explained, she said that she wasn't, in fact, urinating in public and that she and her boyfriend were engaged in sexual relations in the parking lot.
She was transported to Boca Raton PD and processed before being released with a note to appear in court.
Charges were later dropped in exchange for entering into a misdemeanor substance abuse program. Lamendola could not be reached for comment.