ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert had suspended the permit of Jersey’s Daiquiris Sports Bar on Albertson Parkway for two months and fined the business $2,500 for third-offense sale of alcohol to a person under 21.
ATC also denied a request for a new permit sought after the bar’s owner at the time of the violations, Eric Gidman, transferred ownership to his mother, Sandra Gidman.
Jersey’s countered with a lawsuit seeking a permit for the bar under the mother’s ownership and damages for lost business.
Jersey’s dropped the lawsuit Monday in an agreement allowing for a new permit, as long as the son no longer owns the business, makes no decisions about its operation and does not work behind the bar.
“We hope that the new business owner will follow the rules and regulations of the state,” Hebert said.
He said the past violations and the business’s reputation “was just something that ATC could not tolerate.”
Attorney Francis Benezech II, who represented the Gidmans, said the Broussard bar was unfairly targeted with unusually harsh treatment after operating six years before being hit with back-to-back violations over the past year, the most recent of which came when an employee allegedly sold a beer to a 16-year-old working undercover for ATC.
The undercover sting came about four months after Jersey’s had agreed to pay a $5,000 fine on a prior offense and to implement policies to eliminate future alcohol sales to minors, according to ATC.
Benezech said such undercover operations likely could catch underage drinkers at most bars in Lafayette if ATC arrives during a busy time or when a bartender might be distracted.
“No place is completely impervious to that,” he said.
Eric Gidman characterized the undercover operation as ATC sending “someone in to bait you.”
He said he fired every bartender accused of selling to minors and feels there was not much more he could have done.