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Bar wars

St. Roch Tavern wrangles over service animals


  St. Roch Tavern appeared before the New Orleans Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) last week in the latest chapter of the bar's ongoing battles with the city. Owner Ronald Waguespack, via attorney Sundiata Haley, asked to amend or withdraw the city's consent judgment that Waguespack agreed to in March. The board denied that request.

  In March, the board suspended St. Roch Tavern from operating for two weeks in April for violating a separate consent agreement inked in 2011. The March agreement ordered Waguespack to soundproof the building, prohibit animals and go-cups from the bar and end live music no later than 1:30 a.m. on weekends and 11:30 p.m. on weeknights. Waguespack also was fined $10,000.

  Haley said that Waguespack has found the rules of the judgment "difficult to implement" since reopening the bar. "These provisions have had a negative impact on business," Haley said, saying that the business, under the rules of the agreement, is prohibited from allowing service animals in the building. (State law prohibits businesses from denying entry to service animals. The board reiterated that the ruling does not trump state law.) ABC chair Rodney Seydel said Waguespack's only option is to appeal the agreement. — Alex Woodward

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