Bar Owners React To Proposed Ordinance

Friday, March 28th 2008, 10:02 pm
By: News On 6

The City of Tulsa has come up with a proposed ordinance it hopes it will curb violence at "after-hour" clubs.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports the ordinance is being considered by the city council and downtown bar owners say they are all for it.  

If passed, this new ordinance would not completely close the loophole that allows clubs to remain open after 2 a.m., but it would make it tougher for them to keep their doors open.

Bar owners nearby say more restrictions would actually help them out.

Business is good at El Guapo's, but manager Matt Leland says it could be better.

"I think we could expand our business.  People feel that this is another safe, viable place to go on the weekend that maybe wouldn't try us. They're like I'm not going to go down there because I heard its rough," said Leland.

El Guapo's sits only a few blocks away from the closed down Club UV.  It was there that 21-year-old Eric Bell was shot and killed in December.

In February of 2007, when the club was known as the Ministry, a 15 and 18-year-old were shot. Both survived.

Last month, Philip Greer died after being shot at another after-hours club, The Hive.

All of these shooting happened after 2 a.m.

City law allows clubs that are sponsored by a charitable organization to stay open after last call.  That may change if the city passes an ordinance first heard during Thursday night's city council meeting.  It would require non-profits who want to sponsor after-hour events to get a permit from the city.

The permit would be good for just one event, and cost $150.

Among other requirements, applicants would have to pass a background check and present a security plan.

At El Guapo's, they hope the ordinance passes and that clubs like the one down the street remain closed.

"We haven't had any problems since that place shut down.  The fact that they're closed is good for our business in general," said Leland.

If passed, any club that violates the ordinance would face a $1,200 fine and up to six months in jail.

Related Story:

3/27/08 - City Looking To Stop After Hour Problems

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