Liquor license suspension extended for bar where deadly shooting unfolded
BATON ROUGE - The suspension on Capital Park Bar and Grill's parish liquor license has been extended for another 30 days.
The East Baton Rouge Alcoholic Beverage Control Office confirmed on June 21 that it pulled the license for the bar after six people were shot following a concert at the business last month. This kind of suspension isn't very common.
"Very rarely, honestly, in my memory only a few times. I've served 12 years on the board, and I've only seen it once or twice," said Scott Wilford, ABC Board Chairman.
The suspension was first put in place by the ABC Director Chris Cranford. The board then followed suit on Thursday, extending it 30 more days until the investigation is complete.
"It was the second time in a couple of years that an incident had occurred at this location, not the same owner but the same location," said Wilford.
Another shooting inside the bar left seven injured two years ago. The business had a different owner at the time.
Council Member Cleve Dunn, who spoke on behalf of owner Robert Stewert, made it clear that Stewert shouldn't have to pay for the actions of others and former owners.
"We've had shooting at restaurants, schools, churches, and in the general public. We may as well shut down the whole city if we're shutting down a business that has a shooting," said Dunn.
Council Member Laurie Adams represented residents in the area who want the bar shut down because it attracts violence.
"Some locations experience more crimes than others, and some are magnets. So 7142 Florida Boulevard has had lightning strike twice, so I think it's incumbent upon us to take the measures we need to take to make sure it doesn't happen a third time," said Adams.
The board decided they do not want to make a decision until investigators provide more evidence to show if there were ties to the bar and the shooting. They also want to remind bar owners they aren't trying to put anyone out of business but instead are enforcing laws to keep the public safe.
"The right to serve alcohol to the public is a privilege and you need to take whatever steps are necessary, depending on your locations and area of the parish, to make sure that your customers and patrons are well behaved to ensure these things don't happen," said Wilfong.
Capital Park Bar's other violations include unlicensed employees and failure to cooperate with law enforcement. The suspension will be discussed again on August 12.
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