Twenty bar owners and industry professionals across New Orleans today released a letter condemning mayor Mitch Landrieu’s proposed citywide public safety plan. The letter was presented to members of the City Council who are currently drafting legislation based on the mayor’s recommendations.
The $40 million proposal, which was unveiled in late January, calls for a 3 a.m. soft curfew at bars and restaurants. Patrons would still be able to enter and exit the bars but doors would be closed to deter the “free and open flow” of people. The measure would be combined with police “sweeps” of Bourbon Street to keep people off the thoroughfare and a centralized surveillance system with live feeds to the police department.
Bar owners were initially critical of the announcement, with some suggesting that the policies would hurt profits and damage New Orleans’ reputation as a late-night party destination. The letter drafted by Twelve Mile Limit owner T. Cole Newton and co-signed by operators of Latitude 29, Sidney’s Saloon, Three Muses Maple, and more lays out bar owners’ concerns. The group writes:
We recognize that public safety is a major concern for most residents and visitors, but we feel the proposed measures are likely to be counterproductive and are antithetical to the free spirit of the city.
Read the full letter below:
• All Booze News Coverage [ENOLA]