LR Compiles Calls to Police Numbers at LR Private Clubs

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- At places like Midtown Billiards and the Electric Cowboy, the booze keep flowing until five in the morning.

"Nothing good comes after two o'clock," said Roger Lewis who was visiting Little Rock Friday evening.

That sentiment has been echoed by police chiefs and city officials during a long running debate over what to do about private clubs.

New numbers from the city may bolster the argument.

During a 3.5 year span ending June 30th, there were 1,241 calls for service to police at Little Rock private clubs.

58 percent of them were between 2:00am and 530am.  19 percent came between midnight and 2:00am.  23 percent came before midnight.

"If you go to any one of those bars that are open untill five in the morning, that's when they make money, when the other ones close," said Andrew Graham, another person visiting Little Rock Friday night.

The numbers compiled by the city pertain to the nine private clubs in Little Rock operating with licenses allowing them to serve alcohol past 2:00 am.  All but one of those serves until 5:00am, according to the city.

"You take those permits away, you're shutting those bars down," Graham said.

Some worry ending the special exemption for private clubs would cost jobs and tax revenue.
Others say they don't mind bars staying open late but question the special exemption for a select few.

The private club debate has been an ongoing controversy in Little Rock.
To get a better idea about what the private clubs are like, a pair of city directors recently visited the late-night spots.
Their observations along with the calls for service numbers will be discussed at the city board meeting on Tuesday.

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