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Bar owners disciplined for violating restrictions plead for state to lift suspensions

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BATON ROUGE - Bar owners got a chance to appeal to the Department of Alcohol and Tobacco Control Wednesday over its decision to suspend their licenses earlier this month.

Most of the bars on the docket were caught for outright violating phase two orders by being open without food licenses.

“My bartender wasn’t in a mask, and I'm not saying that people wasn’t sitting at the bar,” the owner of Daiquiri Depot in Lafayette said. “We were having a very small gathering of friends, and that’s all it was.”

Two bars in our area—Moonlight Inn and Top Ten Social Club—decided to forgo the hearing and effectively plead no contest, leaving with fines and deferred suspensions. Once the fines are paid, Top Ten will be able to reopen. Moonlight Inn still has two weeks left.

Others participated in the hearing to give their side, some getting emotional. But, for the most part, each owner was handed a $1,000 fine and 30-day suspension.

The next group of bar hearings have not been set yet but include some that were operating during phase three.

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