Commonwealth Journal

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January 29, 2013

Somerset City Council tables entertainment permit applications

Somerset —  

Officials are taking a second look at the city’s current entertainment ordinance — something that has seen little daylight until voters approved a “wet” Somerset — to see if it aligns with current alcohol regulations.
Somerset City Council was slated to discuss entertainment permits for three local businesses. J. Gumbo’s, which also operates the Captain’s Lounge bar, and two businesses listed by address only — 4505 S. U.S. 27 and 311 W. Mt. Vernon Street — were on Monday’s agenda. 
“Those were entertainment permits and we ... since the city council passed the ABC ordinance and the implem-entation of that, the enter-tainment ordinance con-flicts greatly with the ABC ordinance,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler.
The council has dealt with a flood of issues related to the city’s newly “wet” status and the establishment of regulations that align with Kentucky Department for Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and city ordinances. 
But the entertainment permits are a new creature. 
 “I think this is the first time one of them has come up since the ABC ordinances, so we’ve realized now that we’ve got to update,” said Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese during the meeting.
Wiese,while pulling the city’s entertainment permit, discovered that the newest document had been amended in 1988. After some research on Tuesday, she discovered that the city’s entertainment permit ordinance had been taken word-for-word from state statute, which has been largely unchanged since the 1950s and 1960s.
Girdler said the permit even states that businesses shall not let a person of “ill-repute” or an “immoral person” on the premises.
“The enforcement of the entertainment permit ... is probably impossible,” Girdler said.
The Captain’s Lounge, operating out of the J. Gumbo’s restaurant on Fountain Square, is the only operating bar of those three requesting an entertainment permit. A comparison of those addresses listed on the council agenda matches up with a venue called “Boots and Booze,” located at the 4505 S. U.S. 27 address. A business located at Vortex Corner, or 311 W. Mt. Vernon Street, has two names connected to that address: “Paws,” and “The Pub.”

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