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Parish officials sign off on controversial plan to open Murphy's bar at edge of LSU campus
BATON ROUGE - A bar with a notorious past now has the green light to get a liquor license and open near LSU — but not without a lot of controversy.
At Thursday night's ABC board meeting, several individuals raised concerns over parking, noise and student safety, especially when it comes to underage drinking.
“Mostly, people are worried about parking, safety, underage drinking and noise. That’s kind of the four categories," said new Murphy's bar owner, Ty Hingle.
Hingle has proposed solutions to each of those issues but is still facing major pushback, given the history of the bar. Underage drinking is what led to the closure of the old Murphy's in 1997, after 20-year-old LSU student Ben Wynne died of alcohol poisoning.
“Promoting the old Murphy’s and the way the old Murphy’s was, in your new promotion of this new Murphy’s… it’s not mixing along with student safety," said Rae Ann Gruver, whose son Max Gruver died at a fraternity house at LSU in 2017 after a hazing incident.
In a letter to councilwoman Carolyn Coleman, Gruver voiced her concerns for the message that is being portrayed by Hingle. While Hingle claims he wants to revive the bar for nostalgic purposes, Gruver says the past should be left alone.
“I’m just concerned about the actual student safety," Gruver said.
Hingle says he'll combat underage drinking with a sophisticated camera system and the eyes of trained employees at his new bar.
“We’re keeping eyes on everything. We actually have a 36-camera system in place inside of our bar to make sure that we review things and make sure things aren’t happening and then train on things if they do," Hingle said.
Murphy's on Chimes will be open to the public in about five weeks, according to the owner.
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