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Big Daddy’s loses alcohol license

The Sandtrap and Big Daddy’s Lounge owner Gilbert Udoto answers questions posed by Albany city commissioners during a liquor license revocation hearing Tuesday.

The Sandtrap and Big Daddy’s Lounge owner Gilbert Udoto answers questions posed by Albany city commissioners during a liquor license revocation hearing Tuesday.

ALBANY, Ga. — Big Daddy’s Lounge owner Gilbert Udoto became the “odd man out” Tuesday afternoon when Albany city commissioners voted 5-0-2 not to renew the alcohol license of one of his clubs.

Big Daddy’s was the only one of five establishments recommended for non-renewal because of the severity of illegal activity in and around their premises that actually lost its license. The Sandtrap Lounge, also owned by Udoto, and Legends Lounge maintained their licenses after hearings Tuesday.

Charley B’s and Club Xscape had also escaped non-renewal following earlier hearings.

Udoto’s Sandtrap Lounge retained its license when only two commissioners — Tommie Postell and Jon Howard — voted for non-renewal. In the first decision of the day, Club Legend, owned by Lamar Colquitt, was allowed to maintain its license by a 3-3-1 vote. Postell, Howard and Bob Langstaff voted for non-renewal. Commissioner Ivey Hines abstained, deciding the issue in Colquitt’s favor.

Four votes were required for revocation.

City Attorney Nathan Davis cited two shootings near Big Daddy’s last year — one that resulted in a fatality and the other a Christmas-morning shooting in which multiple shots were fired — saying they provided more than enough evidence to yank the club’s license.

Earlier in the hearing, Postell had questioned the club’s hours, its capacity and accused the establishment of allowing entrance to teenagers.

While none of Postell’s charges were at the heart of the revocation hearing, Davis acknowledged they may have factored into the commission’s decision.

“(Postell’s) assertions came close to matching the rest of the evidence we presented,” Davis said. “The business is a public nuisance. City code says with a liquor license also comes the responsibility to maintain security inside and outside the building and in the parking areas.

“This was not done.”

Udoto’s attorney, former city commissioner Bo Dorough, said he felt the hearing’s outcome was predetermined.

“(The commission) wanted somebody’s head on a pike and they got it,” Dorough said. “The evidence established that the homicide victim in the Shackleford Shopping Center’s parking lot was not a patron of Big Daddy’s. There were two calls to the area of Big Daddy’s in a 12-month period, and it is unfair for him (Udoto) to lose his license because there was no reason not to renew.

“Mr. Udoto is doing everything in his power to protect his patrons. I believe a lot of Mr. Postell’s anger directed toward my client was because of his personal animosity for me.”

Postell said he hoped the revocation will send a message to the community.

“We just sent info to the public that we are not going to tolerate places where teenagers can gather illegally. These kids’ lives mean a lot to me,” Postell said. “Big Daddy’s has been out of line for a long time, and we just showed them we’re not going to be a bunch of patsies.”

Earlier in the day, Club Legends at 725 E. Broad Ave. kept its license when the commission failed to muster four votes to take it away.

Asked before the ruling if there was enough evidence to pull Legends’ license, Chevene King, the attorney who represented Colquitt, said, “If there was, then there is enough to close every bar business in Albany.”

Davis called six members of the Albany Police Department to discuss problems law enforcement officers have encountered at the club during the past 12 months. Among the complaints were underage alcohol sales, smoking and distribution of marijuana inside the club, and sale of unopened malt beverages.

When Colquitt admitted to selling “buckets of beer” without opening each beer sold, Davis asked him if he was aware that the city’s ordinance specifically forbids owners from selling unopened malt beverages.

“Did you expect me to open six bottles of beer at one time?” Colquitt asked. When Davis reiterated that the ordinance requires him to do so, Colquitt said, “Who’s going to take the time to sit and read all the stuff that’s in that (ordinance)?”

Asked after the ruling about the results of the hearing, Colquitt said, “I don’t have no comment to make.”

Langstaff, who voted against license renewal for all of the establishments but the Sandtrap, said Tuesday night he was unsatisfied with the outcome of the hearings.

“I voted against all but the Sandtrap, and the reason I didn’t vote for (non-renewal of) the Sandtrap was because I don’t believe there was enough evidence presented to warrant it,” Langstaff said. “There certainly was enough evidence in all the other cases.

“I believe law enforcement did a good job of presenting compelling evidence to warrant non-renewal of these clubs, and I expect that kind of scrutiny to continue. If there’s strong enough evidence at any time now, law enforcement can ask the city manager to revoke the establishment’s license. Then we’ll go through this process again.”

Asked about the commission’s failure to take the licenses of clubs despite evidence pointing to direct ordinance violations, Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson said, “Our job is to collect the evidence and present it to the commission. They’re the ones who make the decisions.”

Asked the same question, Police Chief John Proctor said he preferred not to comment.

Comments

VietVet1 1 year, 10 months ago

The vote was 3-3-1. Four votes were required.

Enough said

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jglass 1 year, 10 months ago

Why on earth is the city commission wasting time and money on this stuff? Knowing that NO licenses were going to be revoked, nor taken away or not renewed. As long as bars are open, those who cannot control their intake of alcoholic beverages will come around and cause trouble, Always have, always will!!!

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jrite1959 1 year, 10 months ago

It never ceased to amaze me of the stupidity of the city excuse me the town to which I choose to live in. Having a vote like that to which it is not resolved but yet they continue to allow to go on only means two things to the outside world. 1. That if you kiss enough butt and have enough money you can do anything you want to if you have enough friends to support you always remember when it comes to city Council it has nothing to do about the city is all about how much money they can put in their pockets under table.

  1. Education is the key of the world but not in the world of Albany, the only reason to which I even stay in this place is the stupidity of self-preservation illusion that they put upon themselves. Instead of coming out point-blank and saying that we do not want this town to progress beyond Mayberry they keep you the voters to which keep putting in them blind.

Knowledge is the key to opening the new frontier. Albany needs a new leader and since no one has the vision to accommodate then I will possibly have to commandeer. You have been warned!!!!!!!

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MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

YOU MUST BE SOME KIND OF NUT OR ABUSING A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.

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Jax 1 year, 9 months ago

You forgot #2. I think several commas and periods were also left out in your repeated efforts to include the phrase "to which." I'm not sure if that detracts from your education argument or just supports it.

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Parent 1 year, 10 months ago

What about Big Daddy's and the Sandtrap? They had hearings today also.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

The story above says they denied Big Daddy's lounge by a 5-0-2 vote, but allowed The Sand Trap to remain open. Guess they did not post this news earlier..

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jglass 1 year, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

So our buddy Pike once again shows he is not wanting to say he is for or against them. I guess just like Club Xscape, Pike saved face by showing he didn't vote to renew their license, but also did not vote against. In other words he is saying his hands are clean.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

You gotta pay to play. Big Daddy apparently didn't and won't.

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mrcvsjr 1 year, 9 months ago

Surprising because the Sandtrap owner also owns Big Daddy's. Guess he had to choose one or the other.

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Moe 1 year, 9 months ago

Bob Langstaff is a disgrace. He consistently takes an anti-business position at every opportunity (look at his support of job killer Judy Toilet Bowles and her sign ordinance) Then, he sits dumbstruck and confused at city commission meetings, apparently befuddled by the city's budget problems. No businesses equal no jobs. No jobs equal no taxes. Does this man have any understanding of the amount of tax paid by these establishments and their employees in aggregate? Sadly, I think even Postell has a higher IQ than Langstaff, which really is saying a lot.

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waltspecht 1 year, 9 months ago

I guess the deal was one sacrificial goat and let the other one stay open, that way the patrons just move over to the Sandtrap. Must be the more profitable of the two venues this individual owns. Or was Big Daddy's just to close to ASU for the comfort of certain Preachers? How long before some Lawyer files suit claiming clubs with equal or exceeding trouble calls were allowed to stay open while Big Daddy's was closed?

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J.D._Sumner 1 year, 9 months ago

Ward III Commissioner Christopher Pike posted this to his facebook page this morning:

As a general rule I don’t comment on posts people make in the comment section on the local news sites but I think it’s important to clarify my vote and/or abstention during the resent alcohol revocation hearings.

First the alcohol revocation hearings were not scheduled during a normal City Commission meeting –these were extra meetings.

I was not able to attend the first hearing involving Charley B's and Club Xscape due to a scheduling conflict. When the motion was made at a regularly scheduled City Commission meeting about the two previously mentioned establishments I abstained from voting due to the fact that I did not hear the evidence in the case.

I voted to allow Club Legends to keep their alcohol license because I did not feel as though the evidence presented warranted revocation. If we made a decision to close Club Legends based on the evidence presented we might as well close every night life establishment in the City.

In the case of Big Daddy’s and The Sandtrap - I abstained from voting because the owner and I have been friends for many years. I felt it would be inappropriate for me to vote in this matter because of our personal friendship.

I hope this provides some clarity for those who are confused. There is no need to ask someone who has no idea what they’re talking about, if you need further correct clarification give me a call at 229.349.0955 or via e-mail at cpike@albany.ga.us.

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MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

SO PIKE PUT HIS FRIENDSHIP ABOVE THE TRUST OF HIS CONSTITUENTS. PIKE IS TURNING OUT TO BE A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT.

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Momof3 1 year, 9 months ago

Anyone tried to call yet? Did he answer?

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erock 1 year, 9 months ago

Places like the Brick House and other fine establishments throughout the good life city should be allowed to keep operating, Their form of punishment seems to be more effective than our judicial system. Before long there won't be anyone left to shoot at

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MRKIA 1 year, 9 months ago

I BELIEVE THERE IS MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE IN THE CASE OF BIG DADDY'S IN THAT ASU IS THE JEWEL OF THE AREA AND THIS DANGEROUS VENUE THAT CATERS TO COLLEGE AGED STUDENTS IS LITERALLY IN THEIR FRONT DOOR. EXPECT MORE CHANGES IN THIS AREA. GETTING RID OF BIG DADDY'S IS JUST THE BEGINNING.

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