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Lawsuit Silences Live Music at Mimi's in the Marigny
Live music was silenced at Mimi's in the Marigny Friday because of a lawsuit filed last week against the bar by neighbors. Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris ordered the Franklin St. spot to cease live music and entertainment. In the lawsuit, a group of neighbors of the bar claim that live music and dance parties like DJ Soul Sister's Saturday Night Hustle is not permitted at the bar because it lacks a permit for live music.
Permit troubles gained attention in September, 2012, when the City and the bar went through a series of actions that ended up halting live music. Circle Bar and Siberia also saw live music halted during that time. After a public outcry including meetings organized by trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, live music was reinstated at the bar. In the meantime, however, the City said Mimi's would work with the Mayor's Office of Cultural Economy on straightening out their permit situation.
The recent suit was brought by Lorelei Cropley, Jeanne F. Turnipseed, Daniel Harris, Diane Lease and Kenneth S. Witkowski. All live on the 2600 block of Royal St., or the 700 block of Franklin St., in the direct vicinity of the bar, and say noise from the bar can be heard in their house.
The neighbors claim that Mimi's still lacks a permit for live music. Office of Cultural Economy head C. Scott Hutcheson and City spokesman Ryan Berni did not immediately return questions seeking clarification.
In addition to permitting, the suit claims Mimi's violated noise ordinances that regulate maximum sound in the area, as well as state alcohol and tobacco regulations.
For their part, Mimi's issued a statement, but did not respond to request for comments about the the facts of the case.
"Because of the lawsuit, we are not able to discuss the details of the case," the bar said in a statement. "In addition, we choose not to slam our neighbors. Do not mistake that for an admission of guilt."
UPDATE (4:55 p.m.) City Hall cultural economy advisor released a statement this afternoon indicating his office is working with Mimi's to get a mayoralty permit, which would the venue to have live music. Currently, the bar has a permit as a cocktail lounge.
"Judge Michael Bagneris made a request that the owners of Mimi's in the Marigny suspend live music until they have obtained the appropriate live entertainment permit The owners have begun that process with the City of New Orleans. It is important for live entertainment businesses to be in compliance with the City's regulations to protect the quality of life of our citizens and the interests of the music community. As always, we're committed to striking a balance that so that both can exist harmoniously."
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