City, bar owners to meet today

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2009

VIDALIA — Vidalia city officials will meet with the owners of Danny’s Lounge today.

The meeting will be to discuss the possible resolution of tensions between the city and the owners following the revocation of the nightclub’s alcohol permit in December.

Mayor Hyram Copeland declined comment about what outcome he would like to see from the meeting, but said that the aldermen who attend will likely take today’s discussion before the full board of aldermen.

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“It will have to go in front of the full board for a vote if there is going to be a change from the current situation,” Copeland said.

Aldermen Triand “Tron” McCoy and Vernon Stevens, City Attorney Jack McLemore and Copeland will be at the meeting.

McCoy also declined comment Thursday.

Since June, the nightclub’s owners and the city have been involved in, at times, passionate exchanges about the club’s future.

Police and fire officials have contended that the lounge has been a magnet for drugs, noise violations and even violent crime.

Supporters of Danny’s have responded that the nightclub has been unfairly branded and that many of the crimes associated with the club in police reports did not actually happen there.

In August, the city asked the lounge to start closing at 2 a.m., something the club did not do because the owners said they were never given a promised meeting to discuss it.

City officials have denied avoiding meeting with the owners.

The owners have previously said that the club had tightened security before their alcohol permit was revoked.

Today’s meeting was arranged following the January board of aldermen’s meeting, during which a large crowd kept discussion centered on the club’s future for nearly two hours.

The owners of Danny’s could not be reached for comment Thursday.