The city of Brookhaven will begin Aug. 1 shutting down the Pink Pony and other nightlife venues at 2 a.m. as part of enforcement of its new alcohol ordinance.
The decision to enforce the 2 a.m. last call that went into effect in April follows the recent decision by a federal judge to allow a lawsuit filed by three nightclubs challenging the city’s new alcohol ordinance to move forward.
The three venues, Josephine, XS Restaurant & Lounge and Medusa Restaurant & Lounge argue in part in their federal lawsuit challenging the city’s alcohol ordinance that the city is not being fair by allowing the Pink Pony to skirt the rules of the new ordinance and stay open until 4 a.m. seven days a week.
“We were disappointed by the ruling as it pertains to the other entertainment venues, but the message from the federal court was clear: Brookhaven must enforce its laws equitably, and that includes the Pink Pony,” City Manager Christian Sigman said in a press release.
The Pink Pony has been operating under a settlement agreement with the city since 2014. Under the terms of that agreement, which expires in 2019, the Pink Pony pays the city of Brookhaven $225,000 annually and is allowed to remain open until 4 a.m. and sell alcohol on Sundays.
The Pink Pony will continue to remain open and sell alcohol on Sundays.
“We were blindsided by this and are very disappointed,” Pink Pony owner Dennis Williams said.
“I believe we have always acted in good faith with the city and in compliance with the city,” he said. “We want to continue working in harmony with the city as we always have and will be in compliance with their request. Right now we will be closing at 2 a.m.”
Williams added the hardest part of the new ordinance is telling his employees of the 2 a.m. last call.
“They rely on tips and income to support their families and this will be a negative impact on their income,” he said. “We look forward to working with the city in getting this matter resolved.”
The overhauled alcohol ordinance that went into effect this year was the result of a crime analysis performed by the Brookhaven Police Department, according to city officials.
In 2018, establishments that served alcohol, have a DJ, dance floor or stage are now categorized as “entertainment venues” and are subject to an annual license fee of $100,000 and and are not able to serve alcohol on Sundays.
The Pink Pony was notified Aug. 1 of the city’s intent to enforce the new hours of operation.