Grand Rapids bar’s license suspended after deadly crash

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Joey’s Tavern in Grand Rapids will temporarily shut down for liquor violations after state records show the bar served alcohol to a man who died in a car crash after leaving the business.

The bar located at 1125 Fulton Street will close Jan. 10 through Jan. 24 and must pay a $1,400 fine.

The state learned that Jeffrey Longstreet was at Joey’s Tavern before crashing his vehicle into a tree and dying a year ago.

An undated photo of Jeffrey Longstreet, provided by his family.

The crash happened just before 4 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2018 on O’Brien Road SW between Covell and Collindale avenues in Walker.

A police report states the 33-year-old man’s car was heading west when it veered off the road for an unknown reason and hit a tree. The Kent County medical examiner ruled Longstreet’s death was accidental.

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs cited Joey’s Tavern for three violations all connected to serving and selling alcohol to Longstreet.

Joey’s Tavern responded to the ruling by saying it’s an “unfortunate circumstance” and “a sad situation.”

Longstreet’s family says the state punishment isn’t enough. They want the bar’s liquor license revoked.

“If that’s all you get for losing a life, what does it take to get (your license) revoked? I mean you know, it just seems like the laws are very lenient. The fines are not enough of a deterrent because that’s really nothing — $1,400 is nothing. They can make that in a lunch hour,” said Longstreet’s mother, Pat Rodenhouse. “It just doesn’t seem like it’s enough of a punishment for someone who lost their life.”

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