City and River Market Neighborhood hope potential new bar has no "shot" at opening

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A unique drinking establishment may soon be on its way to the River Market, but not if city officials and the neighborhood have anything to say about it.

The bar is called "Shotz" and they serve primarily shots. How the bar serves those shots and what the bar patrons do with the shot glass afterward is turning heads. The shot glass is made out of ice and once patrons finish their shot of alcohol they throw the glass on the ground.

LaHarpe's Furniture Store on President Clinton Avenue might be the future home of the controversial bar. A sign outside the store reads that the building has applied to become a private club.

Many Little Rock residents have been to the Shotz location that already exists in Fayetteville right off the University of Arkansas campus.

"You get to break the glasses on the ground afterwards. Really makes for a good environment, especially after a Hogs game," joked Casey Patrick.

Others walking the River Market on Tuesday, although they haven't been, said they would be excited to try it.

"It's a little crazy, but the idea is kind of interesting," said Michael Klucher.

"I think it's an awesome idea," commented Ladaria McKinnie, visiting from Memphis. "A. Cold shot, B. Throw it away, less work."

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Division has received numerous complaint letters, however against the bar going into the LaHarpe's building.

The River Market District Neighborhood Association sent a letter claiming that the proposed business is not the type of business, "that blends well with the cultural institutions, tourist activities and residents that [they] are trying to support in our neighborhood." They believe, "conflicts between late night revelers and residents or visitors," might escalate because of the bar being present in their neighborhood.

Bruce Moore, Little Rock city manager, echoed the neighborhood association's comments in a letter to ABC director, Michael Langley. Moore wrote that, "great strides have been made in improving the overall experience in the District," and he doesn't want to change that progress made in River Market. The city manager concluded his letter asking ABC to "deny" the bar a private license.

Rounding out the list of complaints is a form letter from Chief Stuart Thomas of the Little Rock Police Department where he responded to the form question, "Do you have any objections to the issuance of this permit?" - Thomas scribbled, "YES."

Bar purveyor, Gary Barrett, is probably hoping most people are thinking like Ben Holifield, who when asked if he would like a bar like that in River Market responded, "Can't say that I would love it or hate it. I mean until you actually try something, it's kind of hard to say that."

The owner of LaHarpe's Furniture said as of last week the project has been put on hold for now, but didn't say the possibility of there being another bar in River Market was completely out of the question.