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Albany club gets court hearing on liquor license

A Dougherty Superior Court will determine whether a decision by the Albany City Commission not to give Big Daddy's Lounge an alcohol license should be upheld.

A Dougherty Superior Court will determine whether a decision by the Albany City Commission not to give Big Daddy's Lounge an alcohol license should be upheld.

ALBANY — The owner of a controversial night club that was stripped of its liquor license by the Albany City Commission will have a hearing in Dougherty Superior Court in the hope of swaying a judge to override the commission’s vote and grant the establishment its license, court documents show.

Big Daddy’s Lounge owner Gilbert Udoto is appealing the city commission’s Jan. 29 vote to strip his bar of its liquor license to Dougherty Superior Court. As a part of that appeal, Udoto has asked for a temporary injunction blocking the city from enforcing its action. The hearing on the matter has been set for March 27.

The commission voted 5-0-2 not to renew the alcohol license for Big Daddy’s based on information presented by City Attorney Nathan Davis suggesting a history and pattern of criminal activity in and around the club during a hearing January 29.

In court documents, Udoto contends that the commission’s action and the ordinance it’s based on are unconstitutional and unfairly infringes on his ability to operate the business.

Assistant City Attorney Chimere Chisolm said her office believes that the action taken by the commission was legally justified and will survive court scrutiny.

“We believe the commission’s vote is legally binding and that the appeal is without merit,” Chisolm said.

Big Daddy’s was the only bar of the five under consideration to not have its license renewed by the commission. Udoto’s other property, the Sandrap on Oglethorpe Boulevard, was considered, but commissioners voted to allow it to retain its license.