Business owners have problems with alcohol ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Business owners have problems with alcohol ordinance

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November 23, 2004

Albany- Charley B's owner, Frank Tillman knows his bar has a reputation around town.

It's the place for people who work late. The place people go when other bars close.

"And we have people working at Merck, Miller and even city employees getting off at midnight," he said.

But the ordinance city commissioners planned to approve Tuesday night would have changed that. It would have extended sales until 2 a.m. on Saturday nights, but forced bars to close earlier on other nights and allowed less time for clean-up and cashing out.

"We pay our taxes, we pay our license, we pay our fees."

Now the commission has decided to re-evaluate the ordinance after Tillman and Harvest Moon owner Bo Henry explained the difficulties of only allowing them 30 minutes to shuffle customers out the door and close shop. Business owners do get fined if they're not out of their buildings by the designated time.

They also explained how much business they're losing to Lee County, where bars can serve until 2:55AM Monday through Saturday and close at 4:00AM.

"Every hours the doors are locked we're not gaining revenue and I was under the impression that the city needed the revenue."

Whatever plan city commissioners decide on, Tillman just hopes it doesn't take money out of his pocket or make his job as a business owner more difficult.

posted at 10:31 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com