Jimmy’s Music Club approved for reopening by New Orleans City Council (live coverage)

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Jimmy Anselmo thanks the City Council for approving his request to reopen Jimmy’s Music Club on Willow Street. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After nearly a year of struggle and discord, Jimmy’s Music Club received permission Thursday afternoon from the New Orleans City Council to reopen in a flurry of smiles, applause, blown kisses — and a long list of operating conditions.

The request by Jimmy Anselmo for alcohol sales at 8200 Willow Street — necessary since the closing last year of his previous tenant, the Frat House — has been a long and sometimes bitter fight between supporters of the storied music venue, neighbors and city officials. The Frat House closed amid allegations of underage drinking last year to the relief of neighbors, and when Anselmo subsequently sought to reopen under his club’s old name, Carrollton neighbors and Councilwoman Susan Guidry initially stood in staunch opposition.

Anselmo initially sought to challenge the city’s right to restrict alcohol sales in the Carrollton area, but eventually decided to meet with the neighbors instead. Several more months of discussions culminated in a meeting led by a professional mediator last month, and the result was a list of 17 conditions that Jimmy’s Music Club must obey. Among them:

  • No music can be audible more than 50 feet from the front door or in any neighbor’s homes, and the doors may not be left open for more than a minute during performances. Music must stop at 2 a.m.
  • No music can be broadcast on the outdoor patio, no drinks can be sold on the patio, and it must close at 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends.
  • Trash must be controlled and no flyers can be posted on public property. The only go-cups that can be used must have the club’s logo on them.
  • A security guard must be on duty during all performances with a cell phone neighbors can contact when they have problems. Any complaints against the club must be discussed in a meeting with the neighborhood within 10 days, and the club must participate in quarterly neighborhood meetings during its first year.

Only two members of the public spoke about the issue, both from the Carrollton-Riverbend Neighborhood Association. Association president Martin Huber said he was comfortable supporting the club with the agreement in place.

“If the good-neighbor agreement is followed, there’s ways for us to address any issues that come,” Huber says

Guidry hailed the agreement as “rather complex but very clear” and praised the club owners and the neighbors for coming to a resolution.

“I’m really quite impressed with everyone involved with this process,” Guidry says.

Anselmo — who has addressed the council on numerous occasions in the past — did not speak on Thursday morning. But when the council voted to approve his request, he stood, took a photo of the screen showing the vote, and then blew kisses to the council members as his supporters applauded.

To read our live coverage of the discussion, see below.

5 thoughts on “Jimmy’s Music Club approved for reopening by New Orleans City Council (live coverage)

  1. Congrats! After so many disappointments, so many setbacks the City Council and the current mayor’s administration have imposed on music in our city the last three years, this is VERY good news. To me, City Councilwoman Guidry (while possessing some fine qualities and doing good work in other areas) is the Roger Goodell of New Orleans music. Her campaign to shut down live music in our city, especially neighborhood music venues, has done some real damage. Maybe this victory for Jimmy’s signals a return to sanity on this issue….. Also, Mr. Huber and that neighborhood assoc. should be thanked. They obviously were very patient, and willing to risk and compromise for the sake of letting Jimmy’s re-open. A few of the restrictions seem a hair severe, but on balance are wise. THANK YOU, Martin Huber! Congrats, Jimmy!

  2. I’m glad for the outcome, although I’m not fond of some of these restrictions. The “no music can be audible more than 50 feet from the front door or in any neighbor’s homes” restriction is unrealistic because a neighbor could legitimately claim that the slightest hint of noise is a violation. Instead, there should be a decibel restriction. The other restrictions (soundproofing, keeping doors and windows closed, etc.) should ensure no significant amount of noise travels anyway.

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