Two John Delgado-owned bars are sales tax delinquent

Downtown nightclub owner John Delgado has been notified by the East Baton Rouge Parish Alcoholic Beverage and Control Board that he is delinquent on parish sales taxes owed by his two Third Street bars, Huey’s and 1913.

It’s the second year in a row that Delgado, an attorney and former Metro Council member, has fallen behind on his local sales taxes. In September 2017, he appeared before the ABC for owing some $30,000 in unpaid taxes on what were then the three Third Street bars he owned: Huey’s, 1913 and The Draft House. He later paid the taxes on Huey’s and 1913, as required by law to stay in business, and sold The Draft House.

This year, it’s unclear how much Delgado owes and ABC Director Chris Cranford declines to say, as does the parish finance department.

Delgado also declines to comment, except to say the matter will be resolved at a hearing Aug. 23, when an estimated 60 establishments that owe back taxes for the year so far will be called before the ABC.

Delgado was officially notified of the pending tax hearing Wednesday when officials from the ABC paid a visit to his bars to conduct a routine inspection. After knocking on the door of 1913, which was closed, the inspectors walked down the street to Huey’s, where they served the manager with the notice, Cranford says.

At that time, they also conducted a routine inspection and cited two employees of Huey’s for failing to have ABC licenses, Cranford says.

The activity, which coincided with the presence of a federal law enforcement vehicle on Third Street at the time, led to widespread rumors downtown that a federal agency had attempted to conduct a raid on 1913, which made headlines earlier this summer after a fight erupted outside.

Cranford says the feds were not involved in ABC’s otherwise routine inspection. Delgado says he’s been amazed at the downtown rumor mill and cannot understand what’s behind all the chatter.

“I don’t understand it,” he says. “But there was no federal raid.”

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