On Tuesday morning of this week, downtown nightclub owner John Delgado didn’t have an up-to-date occupational license to operate his Third Street bar, 1913.
He has since obtained one, and sent a photo of it to Daily Report.
However, Delgado’s prior lack of a license raises several questions, particularly after it was discovered that he and dozens of other establishment owners were delinquent on their 2018 sales taxes.
For one, how did he get a license to serve alcohol without an occupational license? And then, if he were still delinquent on his sales taxes, how did he get an occupational license?
A third question: Why didn’t ABC confirm 1913 had a current occupational license when it renewed the bar’s alcohol permit earlier this year?
The answers to these questions, at least to Daily Report, remain a mystery. Delgado couldn’t be reached prior to this afternoon’s deadline, but it’s possible he paid his past-due sales tax tab earlier this week.
An occupational license is required of all businesses operating in East Baton Rouge Parish, and it is required for establishments serving alcohol to receive a liquor license from the parish Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.
A license must be obtained 30 days before a business opens and must be renewed annually by Jan. 1, according to the city-parish ordinance.
The city-parish department of finance, which is in charge of issuing occupational licenses, says that in order to renew an occupational license, a business must be clear of any sales tax delinquency. The office declines to comment on Delgado’s payment status.
Meanwhile, any bar owners still delinquent on their sales taxes are scheduled to appear before the ABC at an Aug. 23 hearing. ABC Director Chris Cranford declined to comment on the issue.