Goodwood homeowners want bar’s liquor license revoked after shootings

Goodwood property owners are calling for the immediate shutdown of a Florida Boulevard establishment that has been the site of two shootings this year.

Fearful for their safety, a group of residents plans to attend today’s meeting of The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which will discuss whether to reinstate or continue temporarily suspending the liquor license of Capital Park Bar & Grill, located on Florida near Ocean Drive

The parish attorney’s office is already investigating the business, which was issued a citation for allegedly violating the city’s alcohol ordinance including 14 counts of having unlicensed employees, failure to cooperate with enforcement agents, and having an operation “averse to public health, safety or morals.”

“Residents are worried about their safety and their close proximity to a bar where numerous gunshots have occurred,” says Goodwood Property Owner Association president Norman Ryan, who has lived in the area since 2002. “This property is blighted with criminal activity.”

Over the past six months, there have been two separate shooting incidents at the establishment. The more recent shooting, which occurred in the early hours of June 19, generated a significant amount of local news coverage and resulted in the deaths of two people.

Ryan has already emailed the ABC, asking the board to permanently revoke Capital Park’s liquor license. He has also requested a cease and desist order from Mayor Sharon Weston Broome’s office and the Metro Council, as well as greater police enforcement in the area from BRPD. 

Ultimately, he hopes the board will shut down the business and that the site will never again house a bar. (Many members of the GPOA Facebook page echo Ryan’s sentiments in various posts and comments.)

But so far, Ryan has heard back only from his Metro Council representative, Laurie White Adams, who will also attend today’s ABC meeting. Adams, who has received complaints about the business from a number of nearby residents, plans to oppose the reinstatement of Capital Park’s liquor license until after a public hearing takes place at the next ABC meeting.

“Our homicide rate is high [in Baton Rouge]—we’re on par with Baltimore per capita and greater than Chicago per capita,” Adams says. “We’re in a crisis in this city, and this murder rate is not going to go down until every single adult in this community stands up and says, ‘Not on my front yard.’”

It’s not known how the board will vote at today’s meeting. ABC director Christopher Cranford deferred all comments on the item to Senior Special Parish Attorney Paolo Messina, who did not respond to a request for comment before this afternoon’s deadline.

Robert Stewart, who owns Capital Park Bar & Grill, did not respond to requests for comment.

Stewart registered the business with the Louisiana secretary of state on Aug. 22, 2019, public records show. In addition to serving food and alcohol, Capital Park appears to operate as a nightclub, based on its social media presence.

The ABC board will meet at 4:30 p.m. Read the full agenda.