Future of downtown Americus bar in question following FBI raid - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Future of downtown Americus bar in question following FBI raid

Dillinger's opened in 2013. (Source: WALB) Dillinger's opened in 2013. (Source: WALB)
The bar was raided by the FBI in February as part of an ongoing investigation. (Source: WALB) The bar was raided by the FBI in February as part of an ongoing investigation. (Source: WALB)
The bar is in downtown Americus. (Source: WALB) The bar is in downtown Americus. (Source: WALB)
The city says its received dozens of complaints about the bar. (Source: WALB) The city says its received dozens of complaints about the bar. (Source: WALB)
Steve Kennedy (Source: WALB) Steve Kennedy (Source: WALB)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

A popular downtown Americus bar remains closed after federal agents raided the business, but city officials said it was already on probation for a lengthy list of violations.

"Anytime you bring a business downtown you want it to prosper, you want it to contribute to quality of life," said city manager Steve Kennedy.

But in the three years since Dillinger's opened its doors in downtown Americus, Kennedy said the bar has also brought with it it's fair share of headaches for the city.

"Since they've opened the problems that we've had have been noise related, general disturbances, some fighting," he said. "The greatest complaint that I have and we have as a city is the underage alcohol sales."

Fourty pages of police reports outline dozens of complaints investigated at the bar in the past year. A recent incident on Jan. 28 involves an 18 year old.

According to the report, police were called to the hospital after the teen was brought in with cuts to the face. A witness told police he had been at Dillinger's earlier that evening.

The minor had a blood alcohol level of .276, more than triple the legal limit, the report said. It was incidents like this that forced the city to take action.

"Discussions have been held with them to let them know what we would like for them to do and their response has been pretty much to not adhere to that requests that we have made of them."

In February, the city council met to decide whether to renew the bar's alcohol license and placed it on a 90-day probation.

But just days after, the FBI and the IRS raided the bar and several others owned by Statesboro businessman Will Britt. Agents also raided his home as part of an ongoing investigation.

Kennedy said to his knowledge the bar has been closed since the raid, and he doesn't know if or when it will reopen. He said he's most concerned about the prime downtown location. 

"It's a very critical corner of downtown Americus," he said.

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