Government & Politics
 

Hookah bar loses liquor permit

Jessica Williams, The Lens staff writer

Six nightclubs came under scrutiny at this month’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board meeting Tuesday.

The more notable of the six, Jericho’s Hookah Lounge and Café, Vibe New Orleans, and Starlight on the Park, all French Quarter and Marigny-area establishments, were charged with infractions ranging from noise violations to underage drinking.

Proceedings for Vibe were fairly short, despite months of protest from neighbors upset with everything from lewd conduct inside in the club to excessive litter outside. Proprietors agreed to a consent agreement that would require security officers to check identification both upon entrance and at the bar, a litter abatement program for the area surrounding the club, and a ban on live entertainment, among other mandates.

Regarding Jericho’s on Chartres Street, witnesses attested to its repeated violation of city codes, including Timothy Floyd, a private investigator who confirmed that the restaurant and bar played loud music well into the night, and Roger Jones, the quality of life officer for the New Orleans Police Department’s 8th district, who acknowledged the many complaints he received from neighbors. The restaurant’s liquor license was revoked in a unanimous vote by the board.

Witnesses also spoke against Starlight on the Park, including French Quarter resident Dexter Fields, who testified to the board that the noise levels make it impossible for anyone to live nearby.

“The noise is so bad, pictures fall off the wall…You can’t function if you have a daytime responsibility,” Field said. “You have to work on their hours.”

Though the deputy city attorney’s recommendation was to give the club a 90-day suspension, the board voted to delay the matter until the next hearing because information on property’s zoning and owner’s mayoralty permit was unclear.

Help us report this story     Report an error    
The Lens' donors and partners may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover.
  • Ray

    If these bars are getting out of hand, then I’m glad for enforcement. But it seems like the new NOPD leadership and the mayor may have imbalanced priorities.

    On one hand, murders will end the year almost identical to 2009. We are one murder away from matching last years total with 8 days to go. Very little progress, if any, seems to be made on the violent crime front. Property crimes and mugging are happening at an increasing rate in the once safest parts of the city the last several months.

    But then on the other hand, all new restaurants can’t get liquor licenses because of this bizarre freeze on them imposed. No new bars can open. Existing bars are getting their licenses suspended at a rapid rate, often for pretty minor sounding infractions. Speeding cameras are going up everywhere to catch people who break insanely low limits. (EVERYONE in my hood has gotten a ticket on Henry Clay in Uptown for going 30 or 32 MPH on a wide, smooth, straight road!) And worst of all, street musicians even in touristy and party areas like Canal St., Frenchmen and Bourbon are being fined and even arrested for entertaining and expanding our culture after 8pm.

    I hope i am imagining things, but there really seems to be a trend of attacking our culture, even suburbanizing the city, and then not doing much about the real threats to our city — violent and property crimes.

    The mayor has been excellent in handling the tough budget issues, the trash contracts, in reducing cronyism, in supporting school reform, public relations, etc. I like him and I’m proud of him in so many ways. But I really am getting alarmed at the philosophy of crime frighting he seems to be implementing. And I feel like this issue almost trumps everything else.

  • shadi

    THE ABO BOARD ARE SUCH RACIST AND UNFAIR.I AM THE OWNER OF THIS BUSINESS AND I ABSOLUTELY DID NOTHING ILLEGAL FOR THIS TO HAPPEN.I HAVE A RESTAURANT LICENSE AND I DID HAVE LIVE MUSIC IN THE 1ST 8 MONTHS OF OPENING.I MADE A MISTAKE OF DOING THAT WITHOUT A PERMIT AND PAID THE PRICE FOR IT,NOW THAT WAS IN DECEMBER OF 09 AND FROM THAT POINT ON WE CLOSED 2 DAYS A WEEK AND OPENED FROM 7PM -UNTIL 2-3AM WITH BARLEY NO BUSINESS AT ALL.THE ONLY DAY WE HAD ANYTHING GOING ON WAS FRIDAY AND SO DID EVERY BUSINESS IN MARIGNY.THE CITY WAS GETTING COMPLAINTS ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY ALL FROM THE SAME PEOPLE. THE CITY ALLOWS CRIMES TO HAPPEN JUST LIKE THESE PAST 2 SHOOTINGS ON FRENCHMEN STREET .NOW INSTEAD OF TAKING PEOPLES LIVES AWAY,WHY DONT THEY GO AFTER THE CRIMINALS .I HAVE SOME WEIRD NEIGHBORS THAT DO NOT WANT A PALESTINIAN TO SUCCEED.THE REASON I SAY THIS IS THAT REESE JOHANSON THE NEIGHBOR THREW SOME WORDS AT ME TO LET ME KNOW WHO SHE WAS AND WHERE SHES FROM AND HER HUSBAND MICHEALOPOLIS (THE SO CALLED ARTIST )TOLD ME HE WOULD BRIBE PEOPLE IN TE CITY AND STATE TO EVENTUALLY SHUT ME DOWN IF I DONT DO WHAT HE SAYS.(by the way i DONT work for him) SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE 2007. BEING A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING IS SUCH A CRIME.

  • Alton

    Some questions/comments:

    1) Is “Vibe New Orleans”, the Vibe, at Claiborne and Esplanade? If so, does the author of this piece really think that Claiborne and Esplanade is a “French Quarter and Marigny-area establishment”? If so, I’m not surprised. This is pretty typical of the lack of basic knowledge about the city of New Orleans I’ve come to expect from the Lens.

    2) Your headline and the story might lead people to think you;’re referring to the Bar called the “Hookah Bar,” or perhaps somewhere called, Jericho’s Hookah Lounge and Café. While a bit more context (or research on the part of your writer) would let the readers know that you mean Lazzizas, just off Frenchmen.

    3) As the previous comment implies, there’s clearly a deeper story to some of these complaints, which seem to all focus on businesses owned and/or frequented by people of color, in neighborhoods with some very conservative white homeowners. But, again, this kind of thoughtful investigating, based in a knowledge of community, is rarely to be found in the Lens.