Popular downtown Lafayette nightclub Karma’s registers may ring for the last time this weekend; the bar is facing a revocation of its liquor license, which would effectively shutter the business, pending an appeal Tuesday before the City-Parish Council.
Dusting off a seldom-used nuisance ordinance that assesses points against bars for incidents — mostly fighting, but also drug activity, nudity and other disturbances — the Office of Alcohol and Noise Control, a division of Lafayette Consolidated Government, informed the club owners on Aug. 5 that their license would be revoked. The decision followed a pair of hearings on July 28, the first of which resulted in a ruling that Karma should have its license suspended for only a weekend due to a bartender allegedly working without a bar card. But the second hearing, during which eight points were assessed against the bar for four disturbances involving fights between May 2 and June 25, resulted in the determination to revoke the license altogether.
The ordinance that is cited in Karma’s revocation is Chapter 6, Section 6-11 of the Code of Ordinances: “It shall be unlawful for any permittee’s establishment, place of business, and/or premises to become a public nuisance and against the public good and welfare of the community. Any combination of the following activities that total to 12 points within any 12 consecutive month period shall be considered a public nuisance.”
In an Aug. 13 letter indicating the club’s desire to appeal the revocation, Karma attorney Daniel Stanford writes that he “is prepared to present to the city-parish council at the appeal hearing information and/or evidence that [Alcohol and Noise Control Director Tim Melancon] did not act reasonably and in good faith under the provisions of Chapter 6, specifically Chapter 6-11 ...”
The revocation was scheduled to begin Friday, Aug. 27.
View all documents related to the appeal here
. To view the Code of Ordinances, click here