The West Baton Rouge Parish Council is currently appealing a Feb. 7 preliminary injunction granted to Crazy Horse Cabaret (CHC) of Port Allen, an injunction making CHC the exception among establishments prevented from serving alcohol after 10 p.m. on Sundays.
On Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, an ordinance went into effect, preventing establishments in unincorporated areas of the parish from selling alcohol after 10 p.m. on Sundays.
“It’s put us out of business on Sundays,” John Kirkendoll of Kirkendoll Management LLC, CHC’s parent company, said last year.
The people of West Baton Rouge Parish previously voted in favor of the ordinance Oct. 22, 2011.
Court documents from the United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana, granting the preliminary injunction, state that CHC is “located in a nonresidential area in an unincorporated area of the parish” and has “no history of violence.”
The documents note that the original intention of the ordinance was to ensure public safety, in response to “a shooting incident in 2011 at a local bar” and “a number of violent incidents that occurred on Sunday evenings at particular nightclubs.”
It was reported in 2011 that a shooting occurred outside Playboy’s Lounge on a Sunday night. At that time, East Baton Rouge Parish bars across the Mississippi River were closed to the sale of alcohol on Sundays.
The current owner of Playboy’s Lounge, Leroy Smith, made note of CHC being the exception at a recent parish council meeting and asked if he also could serve alcohol after 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Parish attorney Louis Delahaye told Smith a judge issued an injunction that only applies to CHC. He said Smith could seek legal action and a preliminary injunction as well, but warned him, “Just because they got one doesn’t mean you’ll get one.”
“You’re confusing the customers with that,” Smith said.
Effective Sunday, Nov. 4. 2012, East Baton Rouge Parish bars can now serve alcohol until midnight on Sundays.
Former “Club MVP” owner Wilson Battley told the Port Allen City Council last year –Port Allen and West Baton Rouge Parish have similar blue laws—he previously had no problem with the 10 p.m. closing time. However, he said after East Baton Rouge Parish scaled back its blue laws, Club MVP sales dropped that first Sunday by nearly two-thirds.
Battley asked the Port Allen City Council to extend bar hours to midnight on Sundays “just to be competitive,” but City Attorney Victor Woods said the matter would require the vote of the people.
Battley said he couldn’t wait and confirmed he has since sold Club MVP.
The West Baton Rouge Parish Council met in executive session April 11 regarding “CHC Port Allen LLC versus West Baton Rouge Parish Council.”
The appeal is filed with the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.