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Rooster's Blues House Closes Doors For 28 Days After Suspension Agreement

One of the Oxford Square’s own, Rooster’s Blues House, has closed its doors until March 20 after a multi-year notification and appeal process with the State of Mississippi.

In a statement Monday, Rooster’s’ owner Scott Michael said, “ABC took disciplinary action against Rooster’s as a result of alleged violations of Local Option Law. Rooster’s denied the alleged violations, appealed this disciplinary action and sought to have it overturned. Both parties maintained and continue to maintain that their respective positions are correct; however, the parties agreed to this suspension to settle the matter.”
Mitchell Driskell, attorney for Michael, said that although a sign on the door of Rooster’s Blues House led to some misinformation in the Oxford community, the allegations made by the state were not based on any “crack down” or “raid” as speculated, but, rather, involved other regulatory requirements imposed on retailers of alcoholic beverages.
After denying the allegations throughout the notification and appeal process, Rooster’s Blues House and the State of Mississippi reached an agreement in early January of this year.
“An agreement was reached that resolved the entire dispute with each side maintaining that they were right, but rather than continue to litigate the matter, we came to an agreement that resolved it,” Driskell said. “It’s over. It’s water under the bridge.”
Rooster’s Blues House accepted a 28-day agreement not to sell hard liquor. Although still allowed to sell beer, wine and food, an ordinance by the City of Oxford left Rooster’s with little wiggle room.
“The City of Oxford has an ordinance that says if you can’t sell liquor, you can’t sell beer,” Michael said. “So, we are closing the doors for 28 days.”
According to the City of Oxford’s retailer’s permit regulations (Sec. 14-44), the ordinance states: “Permit the consumption of light wine or beer on the premises of any retail establishment unless such establishment holds an on-premises retailer’s permit issued by the alcoholic beverage control division of the state tax commission.”
While Michael is sad to close Rooster’s doors for a time, the Oxford community has provided him with motivation and encouragement.
“I want to thank our customers for all their support over the years and the outpouring of support we have seen this week,” Michael said. “The customers mean everything to us at Rooster’s and we cannot wait to see everyone again on March 20 when we reopen with the service, food, specials, live music and atmosphere that make Rooster’s great.”

By Randall Haley, executive editor for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

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