By Jaclyn Hirsch for Virginia-Highland/Druid Hills Patch
A strip club on Chesire Bridge Road is fighting to save its liquor license.
Owners of Bliss, an all-male strip club on Cheshire Bridge Road, filed a request to appeal the revocation of the liquor license for the business, according to an announcement at Monday’s meeting of Neighborhood Planning Unit-F.
City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed revoked the liquor license in December after the Atlanta License Review Board unanimously recommended to void the license. The Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association also opposed re-issuing the license to the business.
But according to Monday’s announcement, the business can continue to serve alcohol until the issue is heard.
The neighborhood group was unhappy with the announcement and plans to keep a close eye on the issue.
After a business owner files a liquor license application, the owner presents the application to the neighborhood civic association, the neighborhood planning unit and the license review board, which is run by the Atlanta police department.
If the neighborhood groups deny the license, the applicant still continues forward to the license review board.
The final step for approval or denial rests in the hands of the Mayor.
The Lindridge Martin Manor Neighborhood Association sent a letter to Reed in October that outlines the past violations at the business and asked him to revoke the license.
In October 2009, Atlanta police raided the club after a five-month investigation, the group said in the letter to Reed.
The following information outlined below was either published in the Atlanta Journal- Constitution or by the Fulton County District Attorney’s office.
- According to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office, between May 13, 2009 and Oct. 17, 2009, Atlanta Police conducted an in-depth undercover investigation. Investigators were able to purchase cocaine, MDMA, and other illegal narcotics from employees of the club, as well as being solicited for sex acts by the employees. Additionally, several of the employees were not licensed by the city. The investigation resulted in a 32-count indictment of 18 individuals, all employees of the establishment.
- Atlanta Police officers obtained 43 arrest warrants and arrested 29 people during a Saturday morning raid in 2009.
- Police reports released to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed that employees and others at the nude dancing club offered cocaine, marijuana and prostitution.
- APD booked the general manager, a floor manager, a bartender, and 16 dancers into the Fulton County jail, according to the report.
- Floor manager was arrested after officers found 23.4 grams of packaged marijuana on the floor between him and customer, the report states.
- Sixteen of the 20 dancers did not have permits, according to the report. Several of the dancers told police that management told them they didn’t need permits. Two dancers also had outstanding warrants for theft and failure to appear, according to the report.
- The bartender also didn’t have a permit to sell alcohol, police said.
- Police said they also found a 19-year-old, who tested positive for alcohol, with a drink in his and in the VIP room. He also gave police a fake ID.
- Officers seized marijuana, cocaine, pills, used condoms, cash and a stolen car from the club.
In October 2006, the license review board found the club guilty of selling alcohol to minors and staying open too late. The board suspended Bliss’ liquor license for six months.
“Having a liquor license is a privilege not a right and our community expects those who hold liquor licenses within this city to be familiar with and abide by its Alcohol Code,” the letter said. “Failure to do so should result in harsh penalties, particularly when these are such egregious and repeated failures. Our community grows weary of the continued disregard for this City’s Alcohol Code at this location.”
Bliss is located at 2284 Cheshire Bridge Rd., across the street from Landmark Diner.