In an interesting twist, the suspension of Jersey's liquor license would have ended Tuesday, but the settlement hammered out in court between ATC and the bar now prevents the former owner/manager from managing the Broussard drinking hole.
A district judge in Lafayette upheld Monday a 60-day suspension of Jersey's Daiquiris Sports Bar's liquor license issued nearly two months ago by Troy Hebert, commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control. In an interesting twist, the suspension of Jersey's license would have ended Tuesday, but the settlement hammered out in court between ATC and the bar now prevents the former owner/manager from managing the Broussard drinking hole at 811 Albertsons Parkway.
Hebert suspended Jersey's license following an undercover operation during which the bar incurred a third infraction for serving alcohol to a minor. Hebert also issued a $2,500 fine, which under the terms of today's agreement has been suspended.
And although the suspension issued in September would have expired Tuesday, Hebert says he's pleased with Judge Thomas Duplantier's decision to uphold it. "It was important to ATC because we have fined this operation thousands of dollars in the past, and that didn't seem to prevent them from selling to minors. The suspension was imposed and it was upheld."
What's more important to Hebert, he says, is that Jersey's former owner/manager, Eric Gidman, will no longer be involved in the bar's operations. Shortly after Hebert issued the suspension, according to Hebert, Dieter's mother, Sandra Gidman, created a new limited liability company and sought an alcohol permit for the same address in what Hebert calls an attempt to circumvent the suspension. ATC, however, denied the permit request, which prompted the lawsuit by the Gidmans.
In a case of be careful what you wish for, Duplantier ruled that Sandra Gidman and her LLC, Magnum Management, can operate Jersey's under a liquor license issued to Magnum. But as part of the agreement between ATC and the plaintiffs, son Eric Gidman cannot manage the bar. Duplantier also denied Jersey's claim that it was owed damages for lost revenue during the two months its liquor license was suspended.
"That's what's a little ridiculous about what they were trying because if they simply would've allowed the 60 days to be served then everything actually would've been fine," Hebert says. "But what they tried to do, in my opinion, was circumvent the 60 days, and now this Magnum Management has bought out whatever Mr. [Gidman's] LLC is - they have changed the lease on the building - so now it's really not under Mr. [Gidman] anymore. If it had been left under Mr. [Gidman's] LLC then he could have served his time and gone about his business [on Nov. 11]. ATC is very comfortable with the settlement and the agreement reached today because actually it's somewhat more restrictive than the original agreement."