Boheme will stay open

Pat Shaver

The owner of Boheme Bistro, 2900 West St., plans to keep business open so he can redeem its reputation.

Peter Sherman, owner of the Boheme and associate professor of aerospace engineering and statistics, is still looking for someone to fill his spot as owner, but if he can’t, he plans to keep it open himself.

Toward the end of last April, income at the Boheme was dropping, and continued to drop at a steady pace. The once-successful World Beat Night on Friday and Saturday nights also lost its flare.

Sherman couldn’t figure out why.

He saw other clubs and bars budding up in Ames and thought that was one reason business was sparse at the Boheme.

“I had every intention to close because of the rapidly fading interest,” Sherman said.

While meeting with Darrell Lewis, former ISU student from Mason City who is interested in taking over ownership of the Boheme, something was brought to Sherman’s attention.

“The concerns that I raised was that there had been a male population that frequented the Boheme last year that was perhaps culturally different and didn’t treat women very well,” Lewis said. “I think they were both legal and illegal immigrants and they weren’t students.”

Lewis said he didn’t like what he saw.

“I observed some of the actions that I thought were inappropriate,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he doesn’t think the problem continues to exist. He said these concerns would be a factor for him in determining if he wanted to own the Boheme. He said the more important factor is finances.

“This aggressive and inappropriate behavior was actually driving people away,” Sherman said.

Sherman also plans to monitor the music played at the Boheme to prevent some of these situations from happening.

“I only now was informed of this, I am angered and upset to a point that I will not let this lie,” Sherman said. “I feel I owe it to the community to make amends.”

He said he is not going to ban people from going to the Boheme, but he will be more observant.

“By definition, my employees and I failed,” Sherman said. “If we were really on the ball we would have had the vantage point to see what was going on and stop it.”

Lewis and Sherman are discussing the possibility of Lewis taking over ownership.

Lewis said the final decision won’t be made for a few weeks.