City approves Mexico Lindo’s dance permit with provisions

The Manassas City Council approved dance permits for three local establishments Monday night, including Mexico Lindo, 8630 Mathis Ave., which had its liquor license suspended for five days in March 2002.

The council voted 4-0 to also approve permits for Tommy’s Place, 8910 Mathis Ave., and Maxwell’s Pupasaria, 9043 Liberia Ave. Councilmen Robert Oliver and Eugene R. Rainville were absent. A public hearing was held before the vote and no one spoke for or against the dance permits.

Mexico Lindo’s permit stated dancing will take place from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Thursday through Sunday. The permit expires July 22, 2004. The restaurant is owned by Felix Vargas. According to the permit, the projected attendance is between 375-425, and the building’s capacity is 575.

Vargas, who was not at the meeting, said during a phone interview he felt “very good” that the permit was approved.

“We worked very close with the police department and they’ve been supporting us and everything we’ve been doing,” he said.

“We’re expecting everything to go well. We want everyone to cooperate so we can keep the place open. Everything we’re doing is good for the customers.”

A security plan for Mexico Lindo listed 14 procedures it must follow to keep the permit. Procedures include: keeping a security staff of six uniformed Department of Criminal Justice Services armed security officers, five of which will be on duty during times of dancing; maintaining a strict dress code; enforcing that no music or dancing can continue later than 1:30 a.m. Friday-Sunday; and the restaurant staff must forbid patrons from loitering in the parking lot.

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control slapped Mexico Lindo with the suspension and $5,000 fine in March 2002. The agency ruled it had been a rowdy establishment in which “illegal users of narcotics, drunks, or drug violators,” were allowed to gather.

“What they have done is enhance provisions with their security plan. It’s a security plan that meets my approval,” said Manassas police chief John J. Skinner, after the meeting. “Mr. Vargas has had his staff, bar managers, event staff and private staff better educated by the Virginia ABC agents regarding ABC regulations.”