Bar owners have mixed feelings about $40,000 permit
POSTED: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 5:32pm
UPDATED: Monday, October 22, 2012 - 7:45pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Brian Ott is the owner of "Uncle Earl's” bar in Baton Rouge. He understands there are risks to allowing bars in East Baton Rouge to stay open until 4:00 a.m., but he's in favor of Councilman Ulysses "Bones" Addison 's attempt to allow them to keep the doors open an extra couple of hours.
"The saying goes nothing ever good happens after two," Ott said. "People still want to have fun, drinks."
Addison's agenda item is scheduled to come up for a vote at Wednesday's Metro Council meeting. The only catch to staying open until 4:00 is that bars would have to shell out $40,000 to do it. And Ott says besides the casinos, he doesn't know anybody who's got that kind of cash.
"Obviously, L'Auberge and places like that - it's a no brainer for them because that's two more hours of extra business. They'll write that check no problem. But for smaller guys, we don't have $40,000 sitting around to get to. Especially when it's a gamble not knowing how the town's going to react to it if it does pass,” says Ott.
One of those other little guys is Lucy's Retired Surfer's Bar and Restaurant. Assistant Manager Laura Jackson is also worried about the cost and on top of that, she's concerned that it may cost people their lives.
"I think it would allow people to get more intoxicated. Maybe that might result in more drunk driving accidents, which I don't think is positive obviously," says Jackson.
Addison didn't return phone calls for this story. He has said before he put forward the proposal so that more enforcement officers could be hired at the Alcohol Beverage Control office. Ott though is just going to take a wait-and-see approach to decide whether he would pay that $40,000.
"If some place down the street does it and they start killing it, maybe it's time to jump on board," states Ott.