UPDATE: MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — KTVE/KARD has learned that the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control has shut down Junkyard Bar in Monroe and pulled their liquor license.
Junkyard Bar owner Lane Clark had planned to open his business on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, even though the Phase Three Coronavirus restrictions in Louisiana prohibited the bar from opening.
We spoke with Clark after he spoke with ATC, and this is what he had to say: “Why don’t you step up? Why don’t y’all open? Why don’t y’all get your licenses suspended? Let’s all go to Baton Rogue and let’s all have a hearing, because that’s the only way this is going to end. It’s not going to end. It doesn’t make sense, none of it makes sense, nobody can show me any data that makes sense. So, everybody open.”
Clark is now set to go to court down in Baton Rogue on September 30th to appeal for his liquor license. Until then, the bar remains closed.
KTVE/KARD’s Brian Briggs was on the scene and will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments of this story.
MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) “I’ve been closed for 8 weeks, what am I supposed to do” Junkyard Bar Owner Lane Clark said.
Bar stools at Junkyard Bar in Monroe have been sitting in silence for a while, but this will be changing Tuesday. This is because they are planning on opening soon. While phase three offered potential, last minute updates keep certain bars in the dark.
“In those parishes with a positivity rate of 5% or lower for two consecutive weeks will have to opt into on premises consumption of alcohol at bars” said Governor John Bel Edwards in his press conference Friday. This also comes with additional restrictions.
“Phase 3 is a step backwards” Clark said.
They first opened back in June, having to quickly close their doors a month later. They have been having trouble making required payments on rent, utilities and other fees for the bar, even though they remain closed.
“I’m not going to follow these rules anymore, it’s discrimination. It’s basically taxation without representation is the way I look at it” Clark said.
Not only have the recent phase 3 updates upset Clark, he says that it’s the principle of the matter, with certain businesses opening over others.
“We can go to Walmart, we can go to Home Depot, we can go next door, and see how many people in there eating. But you can’t come over here; you can drink beer over there, can’t drink a beer here, doesn’t make any sense” Clark said.
Clark is also willing to accept whatever consequence comes from opening early.
“The Fire Marshals and the alcohol, and the Health Department and all of them, they’re just doing their job, they’re just doing what they’re told by this… dictator down in Baton Rouge” Clark said.
Clark also mentions that masks, hand sanitizer, touch less soap and towel dispensers will be made available to all patrons to keep them safe during their stay.