Family Says City Is Harassing Them And Affecting Business

Franque Thompson

OMAHA (KPTM)- Omaha man, Nicholas Scalise, wants answers to why the city has banned him from his mother's restaurant. City officials said there are reasons why Scalise is not allowed in Spanish restaurant, Maria Sangria, but his family believes what the city is doing to keep him away is unjust.

"There's no concrete evidence on why I cannot be here," said Scalise.

About 20 steps away from the front door as close as Scalise can be to his mother's restaurant. He said the city banned him from Maria Sangria, but what Scalise wants to know is why?

"What have I done that was so bad that I can't even help my own mom out in her American dream? What have I done?" asked Scalise.

Deputy city attorney Tom Mumgaard said the answer is clear.

"He had been involved in other liquor license establishments that had caused similar problems and had resulted in the loss of license for those businesses," said Mumgaard.

"I never owned any of those businesses before and I never had any issues there as well, my personal events. But because of that they're trying to associate me with those businesses," said Scalise.

Mumgaard said those problems carried over to Maria Sangria.

"When the Scalise family began to operate it attracted people who engaged in criminal activity, disturbances, fights, shootings, which then caused police reaction," said Mumgaard.

However, Scalise said Mudguard's accusations are far from the truth.

"They can't find any factual base to where any of my events have been questionable or anyone's been hurt or anything. They haven't put anything on paper the reason why, they haven't committed to a reason over the phone, through conversation, on email," said Scalise.

He said the constant back and forth with the city has nearly killed his mom's business and her American dream.

"I not happy in here anymore. My heart is not in here anymore," said Maria Sangria owner, Maria Scalise.

The restaurant sits empty most days. The family said they blame that on all the harassment.

"Day after day, I keep get a paper from the city of Omaha. You can't do this, you can't do that, you can't do this. Ok, explain to me for why I pay a restaurant, for why pay for this building? Why? The city of Omaha going to help me pay my rent and pay utility?" said the restaurant owner.

"She's only been here for a year, but the harassment in one year is unconstitutional and unprecedented. It's bizarre and we want reasons why," said her son.

It also states on the restaurants liquor license that Scalise is not allowed in the building. Mumgaard said that is because the restaurant has caused problems throughout the Old Market. The family hopes to meet with city officials soon but so far, no cooperation from the city or the council.