Hookah bar loses liquor permit

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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 The restaurant’s liquor license was revoked in a unanimous vote by the board.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.

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