Club or restaurant? Controversy smolders over Montgomery's "Blaz - News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.


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Club or restaurant? Controversy smolders over Montgomery's "Blaze"

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It has been the site of all kinds of problems in the past and now the Rose Supper Club wants to re-open. The nightclub near downtown petitioned the city council Tuesday night for a new business license under a new name. And that's not the only license controversy council members had to contend with. Neighbors also showed up to complain about a restaurant which they say is really operating as a nightclub.

The sign on the outside of this building reads "Blaze Bar and Grill," but a sign in a resident's yard nearby the establishment on the East South Boulevard says "Club Blaze." So which one is it?

The business is in Montgomery city councilman's C.C. Calhoun's district. He says it's been a headache for him and the area since it opened two years ago as Quarles Barbecue. Then in August, the name changed to Blaze Bar and Grill without the city council's knowledge.

"You're bringing in food from Lowdnes County and saying your operating a restaurant. That's not a legit restaurant. And when I look at the numbers. $300,000 in cover charges. I don't know any restaurant that charges a coverage charge and then on some of the charges, there is no food and just alcohol. They are operating a club and that's something that's not going to be tolerated in my district or the city of Montgomery," Calhoun said.

And residents in and around the business say their neighborhood is full of Club Blaze advertisements.

"We have had nothing but complaints from neighbors...flyers on stakes like political signs advertising live entertainment at Club Blaze, first ladies in free. I've never paid to get into a restaurant."

Council members pushed to temporarily shutdown the bar and grill for two weeks until it operates within a restaurant business license of 60 percent food and 40 percent liquor.  Blaze attorneys feel officials have been given inaccurate accounting numbers.

"I'll just say this, our clients in good faith have come and said we'll shutdown. We've got a reputable accounting firm that's going to an audit. And they will say what it is: good or bad and we will have to live with it," Blaze Bar and Grill attorney David Vickers said.

Blaze Bar and Grill owners have two weeks to install a full kitchen in which cooks will prepare food in the actual facility. They also have to have an actual menu and make a payment toward the $30 to $40 thousand dollars in back-taxes council members say the owners owe the city in order to keep their business license.

The owner of the Rose said during the council meeting the new club would be only for adults 25 and over and would close by 1:30a.m. The new name would be "The Flightt."

Council members will vote at the next meeting on both establishments' licenses.

The Rose has been the scene of several shootings and was forced to surrender its liquor license by the state.

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