Jan 4, 2012 11:20 PM by Shawn Kline
An Opelousas restaurant has been open just a few months but it's already attracting a lot of controversy. Why? One day a week, it's open until 4:00AM when other places have to close at 2:00AM.
The owner isn't breaking any laws.
"To me, after two o'clock is trouble," Cherry Francis said.
Francis knows all too well. She lost her son, Terry to a car wreck early Sunday morning. Her husband, Chris says Terry went to the restaurant Stallions in Opelousas to listen to some music. The music played until 4:00AM.
"I had that feeling you know," Chris Francis said. "At that time of the night, anything can happen."
Stallions is one of the newest restaurants in town but it's only open from 4:00PM to 9:00 at night, but one night a week (Saturday), it turns into "Club Stallion."
So how do they get away with it?
"If no more than 15% of its revenue is derived from alcohol sales, it can remain open past 2:00 on into the wee hours of the morning," Alderman Blair Briggs said.
That's how the ordinance reads at least. It was first passed to allow Evangeline Downs to keep the slots rolling but now, Briggs says Stallions is taking advantage of it.
"It's open 'til the wee hours of the morning." Briggs says, "nothing good can come out of it."
As far as the Racino goes, Briggs says the main attraction is gambling. He says at bars and nightclubs, patrons are usually hitting those up for alcohol. For that reason, Briggs says the ordinance as it reads may be too dangerous.
So, he's drafting an amendment. He says the Racino won't be affected but for bars and restaurants, closing the doors at two could save a life.
"If that club or restaurant would've closed." Cherry Francis says, "it would have made a difference (in Terry's life)."
The restaurant's owner Bob Caillier wasn't at Stallions and didn't return our phone calls.
Briggs hopes to have the amendment written by the end of the week and in place later this year.
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