Karaoke, skeeball among zoning issues for local bar

Karaoke, skeeball among zoning issues for local bar

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by BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36

WCNC.com

Posted on March 15, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 15 at 8:25 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After his restaurant was inspected Friday night by a team of ABC agents, police officers, and a city code enforcer, Jackalope Jack's owner Rob Nixon tells NewsChannel 36 he expects he'll receive violations for having both skeeball and karaoke in his popular bar.

Nixon says he knows this because the code enforcement officer told him so when he asked why he was taking pictures of his skeeball machines during the late night visit.

"I've always been the bear in the cave, saying, 'it's not my problem, it's not my problem,' but the city came into my cave and soiled on my fur and I'm not happy about it," he said Monday night.

A spokesperson with the city's office of Neighborhood and Business Services says the visit was part of a crackdown to ensure that ordinances are being followed across the city. The issue, in Jackalope Jack's case, is that the building is zoned as a restaurant with a liquor license. Live music and games, according to the city's ordinance, are features of a nightclub, and nightclubs are not allowed in the residential neighborhood of Elizabeth where Jack's is.

"We've never tried to hide it," Nixon says. "We've been here 16 years."

Nixon is trying to unite other restaurant owners in town to fight the city. "They are slowly sucking the fun out of the restaurant business," he said.

Jackalope Jack's has not received violations. It's next door neighbor, The Philosopher's Stone, was also visited Friday night.

It is not clear just how many restaurants may be affected by this new effort, a partnership between Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, ABC, and the city's code enforcement.

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