Likely vote coming on ordinance to close night clubs earlier

Monday is likely to bring a big decision that will impact Pine Bluff businesses.

Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth wants night clubs to close at 1 am instead of staying open later in the morning.

Working to hopefully cut down on crime in her first year as mayor, Hollingsworth has urged this ordinance to limit late night hours of clubs and promote safety.

On the other side at least one club owner is in the fear that if passed, the new ordinance would shut his business down.

As a way to combat what many residents call a growing crime problem in Pine Bluff, some city leaders want to stop the pouring at 1 in the morning, and they're not alone.

"Yea I would agree. Some years back when I was younger I probably wouldn't have, because I couldn't see it like I see it now. It's getting worse, so yeah I agree," said Pine Bluff resident King Smith.

Smith is a proponent of the ordinance, saying the violence is becoming too much to stand.

"It's not good and it's looking worse. You know day-after-day, week-after-week, now it's going into the months and year so it's not good," he added.

Now, 1 a.m. may seem pretty late, but for a place like PJ's, which stays open until 5 am, that's going to be four hours of business they might possibly miss out on.

"Well if they close the clubs at one o'clock, we might as well close out doors," said PJ's owner Perry Johnson.

Johnson has owned the nightclub for 37 years, saying the change in hours would kill business because a lot of his customers don't come in until after one due to their jobs.

"When they get off work they go home, take a shower and maybe even take a nap. They don't even come out here until 12:30 or one o'clock," Johnson continued.

As far as security goes PJ's nightclub tells us it usually has four police officers outside of the business during the weekends to go along with its five security members inside the club.

A vote on this ordinance is expected to happen Monday night at the city council meeting.