NEW ORLEANS, LA— On May 15, 2012, the Alcohol Beverage Control Board of the City of New Orleans revoked the alcoholic beverage license of Big Time Tips Bar & Lounge, a longtime nuisance bar in the Hollygrove neighborhood located at 8801 Edinburgh Street.
“We are getting aggressive on nuisance bars,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This is about quality of life. A huge part of this improvement comes from enforcing the laws and rules that we already have in place to protect our citizens and make our neighborhoods safer. We will not sit back idly and tolerate violations from establishments that put our citizens in harm’s way.”
The ABO license was revoked due to nuisance allegations based upon the establishment’s long history of violence and violations of the law. The establishment has appeared in front of the Board on multiple occasions for prior public nuisance and tax issues.
Since 2002, this bar has been a nuisance negatively impacting the quality of life of the citizens of the Hollygrove neighborhood. Attorneys for the City, Nolan Lambert and Dan Macnamara, introduced a litany of acts of violence which occurred at the establishment including two homicides, several shootings, and a stabbing. The most recent homicide occurred on December 12, 2011 when twenty-one shots were fired inside the bar.
On February 3, 2012, members of the NOPD’s Second District and the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) teamed with up with the State Police, Probation and Parole and the ATF to check the location. During the check 15 people were arrested: 6 for parole violations, 8 for outstanding warrants and 1 for possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine and marijuana. Additional numerous bags of marijuana were located throughout the bar. Some of the parole violators also had outstanding warrants. In February, the ATC suspended Big Time Tips’ license for a year.
Many citizens of the Hollygrove community appeared before the Board to voice their concerns about the bar and its negative impact on their lives. Following over three hours of testimony, the Board permanently revoked Big Time Tips’ license.
Alcoholic Beverage Outlets operating in violation of their regulations can become sites of violent incidents and create noise, litter, and parking violations that interfere with neighbors' quality of life. In 2009, only 32 ABO prosecutions occurred. Due to a successful commitment to better enforce nuisance establishments, 287 prosecutions have occurred since the beginning of 2011.
“The City’s newly energized focus on aggressive enforcement against nuisance establishments and tough execution of ABO regulations has garnered extremely positive results,” said Richard Cortizas, City Attorney. “I want to thank Dan MacNamara and Nolan Lambert who led the City’s case. We will continue to work tirelessly to prosecute these offenders and by doing so, make our city safer for all residents.”
In 2011, the Law Department received additional funding that allowed the hiring of an additional attorney to try these cases.
The Law Department has also netted increases in ABO tax collection. Currently 94 percent of ABO tax cases are resolved within 60 days. This showcases the efforts to improve citizens’ quality of life by ensuring compliance with ABO regulations.