Nightclubs File Lawsuits Claiming New Bar Hours Are Racist

Hearing is set for next week

June 7, 2018

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Owners of nightclubs in the Atlanta suburb of Chamblee have filed lawsuits against the city for its new bar hours. A judge is scheduled to hear a request Wednesday from Mansion Elan for an emergency injunction. Follies reportedly has requested a similar hearing.

This week, Chamblee banned sales of alcohol after 2 a.m. and after midnight on Sundays. Used to be, clubs and bars could sell alcohol until 3 in the morning.

Owners of Mansion Elan and Follies say the change will cause irreparable harm. They contend that they should have been informed about the planned changes before paying the almost $7,000 for a 2018 liquor license.

In its complaint, Mansion Elan accuses Chamblee of racial discrimination. Mansion's attorney Leron Rogers says "I think they want to run all the nightclubs out.  It just so happens that probably 90% of the nightclubs are black owned or they cater to black clientele."

Both clubs assert that reducing the pouring hours infringes on their right to free speech. They contend that they play music and that's a form of free speech.

Chamblee, the nightclubs say, should have allowed businesses with existing liquor licenses to be grandfathered in under the previous hours.

The nightclubs want an emergency injunction prohibiting enforcement of the new pouring hours.