LITTLE ROCK – Tony Catroppa, who operates at least six bars and clubs in Northwest Arkansas, has four hearings scheduled Wednesday with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, including one to open a new club in the space formerly occupied by Alligator Rays in Fayetteville.
Fayetteville Police Chief Frank Johnson and other city officials, along with Washington County Prosecutor Terry Jones, some area businessmen and residents, have written letters to the commission opposing all four of Catroppa’s requests.
ABC Director Robert Moore denied the four requests separately earlier this year.
Milton Leuken, an attorney for the commission, said Monday that he can’t recall the last time someone had four different permit issues before the commission on the same day.
“Yes, it’s unusual,” he said.
Catroppa said Monday afternoon he wasn’t aware the hearings were all set for Wednesday.
“That’s news to me. I’m going to have to do some checking on this,” he said.
One of the items on Wednesday’s agenda is a request to continue to use the old Alligator Ray’s beer and wine permit at the new club called Tony C’s Late Nite.
Catroppa acquired Alligator Ray’s Oyster Bar on North West Avenue, from its owner, Steve Woodard, in a business swap for the Jungle Family Entertainment Center.
Woodard let Catroppa have Alligator Ray’s beer and wine permit and Woodard wants to have it transferred to his name.
That request is scheduled to be heard at 10 a.m.
At 9:45 a.m., commissioners are to hear a request to add an outdoor patio to Tony C’s Bar and Grill, a private club at 1313 N. Garland in Fayetteville.
At 10:15 a.m., commissioners are to hear a request to move an already existing restaurant mixed drink permit, which Catroppa owns, from 620 N. College to Tony C’s Off Dickson, 326 N. West St., No. 6.
Tony C’s Off Dickson and Tony’s C’s Late Nite will be located next to each other.
At 11 a.m., the five-member commission will hear a request by Catroppa for a beer permit for a new establishment at 1305 North Garland, called Mothers.
In their letters to the ABC, the police chief and prosecutor both expressed concern about approving Catroppa’s requests because his other establishments have caused problems for police and ABC agents in the past.
“The applicant’s past history of continued violations is contrary to the integrity of the entertainment business district in Fayetteville,” Johnson wrote.
Fayetteville Alderman Shirley Lucas also wrote a letter to the commission urging defeat of Catroppa’s requests.