Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Crowd expected for Boil & Roux hearing

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BATON ROUGE - An Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hearing Thursday afternoon will focus in part on a restaurant whose future has been put in doubt following a series of citations.

One of several "opposition hearings" on the agenda involves a Cinco de Mayo violation -- an allegation that Boil & Roux did not have its permits in place for that holiday event.

The establishment is also accused of failure to cooperate with enforcement agents and, zoning violations and consumption of alcohol in the parking lot.

In late November, WBRZ News 2 reported that the owners of Boil & Roux believed they were being unfairly treated largely because of the actions of Metropolitan Council member Denise Amoroso. They suggested that the treatment stemmed from racial bias.

Boil & Roux's owners are Black, but the neighborhood is predominantly white.

They alleged that the property was being singled out -- receiving citations when other establishments conducting similar business were not.

Maurice Walker, the owner, said the threat of closure is being taken very seriously.

"It's not just my livelihood and my kids' livelihood," he told WBRZ. "It is the employee's who work here. My bartenders, my hostesses, my servers."

Amoroso said enforcement efforts have come in response to complaints, and that "all I want is for them to obey the law."

One neighborhood homeowner -- who is Black -- told WBRZ he rejects the notion that race is the driving force behind the concerns.

"I am a Black business owner," Ronald Smith said. "The main thing I want this community to know is, we don't want another business to leave the community. We just want the businesses in the community to respect the community and abide by the laws like everyone in America."

The ABC meeting takes place at 4:30 p.m. at the Jones Creek Library in Baton Rouge. It was moved to that location to provide added space for those wishing to attend.


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