Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control has suspended the alcoholic beverage permit of Rooster’s Blues House, a popular bar and hangout spot for Ole Miss students, from 10 a.m. Feb. 20 to 10 a.m. March 20.
ABC allegedly found the bar in violation of the local option laws. Rooster’s sought to dispute this accusation, and as a result, the bar and ABC came to a settlement of a 28-day suspension.
According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, ABC Enforcement is responsible for maintaining fair and equitable enforcement of the local option laws, the prohibition laws and state beer laws in the state of Mississippi.
The Encyclopedia of Chicago defines “local option” as a general term for laws that enable voters to decide if or how alcohol will be sold in their communities. Mississippi state law requires counties to decide if they will “opt in” for the sale of alcoholic beverages. Lafayette County is a “wet” county.
Rooster’s Blues House owner Scott Michael released a statement regarding the suspension:
“ABC took disciplinary action against Rooster’s as a result of alleged violations of local option law. Rooster’s denied the alleged violations, appealed this disciplinary action and sought to have it overturned. Both parties maintained and continue to maintain that their respective positions are correct; however, the parties agreed to this suspension to settle the matter.”
This is not the first time ABC has suspended a local bar’s alcoholic beverage permit. Rowdy Rebs, another bar on the square, had its alcohol permit suspended for a week in December 2016.
In April 2015, The Levee, The Library and Rib Cage were found in violation of selling beer to minors, according to an Oxford Police Department crime report.
Rooster’s will not be open to serve food during its suspension. Michael said employees of the bar will work at his other business in Oxford, Mr. Feather’s, during the suspension period.
Oxford resident Danica McOmber visited Rooster’s frequently for karaoke nights and said she will enjoy other bars in town while Rooster’s is temporarily closed.
“I made it a habit to go to Rooster’s every Wednesday for karaoke,” McOmber said. “Currently, I am looking at Frank and Marlee’s for karaoke on Thursdays. I might also try Mr. Feather’s, but I am not sure how big the crowds get there.”
Michael said Rooster’s has a very good relationship with ABC and is looking forward to reopening to the public after Ole Miss’ spring break.
“The issue settled was an issue that has been going on for well over a year, and it just so happened to be settled Feb. 20 at 10 a.m.,” Michael said. “I’m happy with the settlement. We have a great relationship with ABC and look forward to putting this behind us.”