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Last call comes early
Bo'Maz attorney voices displeasure
A Bo’Maz night club sign is seen near a Walthourville city limits sign. - photo by Photo by Andrea Washington

When Bo’Maz nightclub owners Bobby and Mazie Fabian walked into the meeting room of the Walthourville City Hall on Tuesday night, the decision on whether to temporarily close their business had already been determined.
The Walthourville City Council voted to allow the club to remain open, then moments later unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance that affects when establishments such as Bo’Maz can sell and serve alcohol.
Effective immediately, businesses “other than grocery and convenience type stores” will be unable to sell or serve alcohol after 2:55 a.m. Monday through Friday, or after midnight on Saturday.
No alcohol sales are permitted before 8 a.m. on any day of the week or on Sunday.
As the city clerk, Juanita Johnson, read the new ordinance prior to the council’s vote, the Fabians and their lawyer Kimberly Copeland, sat with surprised looks on their faces, apparently unaware an amendment would be discussed during the meeting.

Copeland tried to address the council before they passed the amendment, but her attempts to interject went unnoticed.
After the vote, the attorney did not hold back her displeasure with the council’s choice.
“You all didn’t give the businesses and the nightclubs notice of this hearing and this is going to negatively affect their business,” Copeland said.
She also hinted the new rules were a way for the council to punish her clients, who own the only establishment in the city that falls under the “other than grocery and convenience type stores” category.
“Bo’Maz operates on two days of the week, Saturday and Sunday,” she said. “By changing these hours, you’re going to affect their economic ability by 50 percent of their proceeds.”
But on Wednesday, Walthourville Mayor Henry Frasier said the change was not an effort by the council to single out Bo’Maz.
“We made it clear that this was not for the Fabians. This is for the city of Walthourville,” he said. “We have to set a standard for Walthourville, not just pick on them.”
According to Frasier, the council decided to revise its city ordinance, rather than temporarily close the nightclub, to match state guidelines and bring “a little more order in the city.”
“We’ve been having so much problems out there and we didn’t want to pull their license and stop them from selling (alcohol) at all,” the mayor said. “But we didn’t want to continue to let them have alcohol late out there and then somebody gets killed.”
Noting the security of the city is the first responsibility of the mayor and council, Frasier said he stands behind the council’s decision 100 percent.
Attempts to reach the Fabians for comment were unsuccessful.
All councilmembers were present for Tuesday’s meeting. 

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