Residents want bar closed after string of crimes

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

Loading

ATLANTA - Neighbors are demanding that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed take action against a local restaurant after a slew of crimes in the area.   

The Atlanta Police License and Review Board voted to suspend Room Service Lounge’s liquor license for 360 days and fine it more than $12,000 after finding five code violations.  

Since the restaurant’s opening a few years ago, Channel 2 Action News has covered at least two shootings at the Room Service lounge in Northeast Atlanta.

Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman dug through 38 pages of police calls, provided by neighbors, where the lounge was mentioned and found reports of assaults, thefts and alcohol license violations.  

“Do you want that going through your neighborhood?” neighbor Diane Olansky asked.  

Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan said the place is a safety risk to the neighboring communities.  

“It has been a problem for the community ever since it opened,” Wan said.  

Morningside-Lenox community groups said they’ve been fighting for years for the city to take action.

They sent out an email blast on Monday urging Mayor Kasim Reed to sign off on the recommendation by the Chief of Atlanta Police and the license review board to suspend the club’s liquor and fine them.  

“I would like to see the city stand up and support its code,” said resident Jane Rawlings.  

“Why, why is it taking this long to sign off on something is so well documented?” said Olansky said.  

“To me the fact that someone was shot is not evidence against the club” said Alan Begner, the attorney for the lounge.

Begner is well-known for representing strip clubs and adult stores in the area.  

“There is no evidence that they continue to violate the alcohol license, they just don’t like the fact they are busy later than they want,” said Begner.  

Channel 2 Action News first brought the neighbors’ concerns to the attention of the mayor’s office last week. On Monday, a city spokesperson said they are looking into the issue, but added that government offices were closed on Monday for the holiday.  

“It is wrong, and we have laws that say it is wrong and there are still doing it and getting away with it,” said Olansky.  

“At some point, I am hoping he will take action because the community is ready for some relief,” Wan said.