Fairbanks City Council Discusses Concerns with the Big “I” at Weekly Meeting

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The owner of the Big International Bar and Hotel also referred to as the Big-I, John Jackovich, was at the Fairbanks City Council meeting Monday to renew the bar's liquor license.

Jackovich was confronted by concerned council members who asked questions regarding noise complaints, assaults occurring in the bar, under aged drinking and two deaths that occurred in proximity to the establishment in the last year. When council members asked if they were drinking at the bar he assured me they were not.

"There’s actually two deaths, this year, and both of them happened on that grassy area where they just collapsed and died from alcohol. It was never, see the address is 122 turner, that's my address, so something happens that's the way it's reported. We the chief, the deputy chief have all spoken about it. It’s a heartbreak situation, and Fairbanks has to live with, but no death has happened in at or on the Big-I, or the international hotel and bar," said John Jackovich.

Fairbanks chief of police Eric Jewkes commented on the Big-I, saying that when Kodiak Jack's closed last year, the Big-I had to adjust to the influx of people and service that transitioned to their bar.

The Big-I has reportedly had multiple incidents throughout the year, but not all of them could be traced back to the establishment. Jewkes said he has been working with Jackovich closely to address specific issues.

“Over the last year there have been some problems. We met with him on a regular basis. As you can tell he's pretty receptive. He’s a no nonsense guy, and I’m pretty blunt with him, as well, because I think that's the way he likes to communicate, and so we had quite a few agreements. We had a couple disagreements, but we worked them out and he is doing much better,” said Jewkes.