Reign Lounge liquor license up for discussion at Omaha City Council meeting

Posted at 10:17 PM, Feb 11, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - — Many residents of the Florence neighborhood say they see the Reign Lounge as a problem property that invites noise and crime into the area.

Several spoke out against the bar at Tuesday's city council meeting regarding its liquor license.

Hundreds frequent the bar every weekend, but neighbors in the area say they're sick of the overcrowding, fights and parking violations.

Because of those complaints, the Omaha City Council decided they will not recommend a renewed liquor license for Reign Lounge, ultimately the state liquor commission will decide.

"It's very disheartening and very discouraging, I mean we've done everything we can to actually comply with the city of Omaha's wishes," Reign Lounge Owner James Overton said.

Overton has owned Reign since 2017.

A series of complaints about the property relating to fights near the bar, patrons parking in front of nearby homes and disorderly conduct led to several people speaking out against Reign.

"Nothing has improved, you saw what happened last Saturday night, this is a weekly occurrence," Mele Mason said.

"Our neighborhood is disrupted till two, two-thirty, sometimes even three o'clock in the morning,"John Lemon said.

A number of Florence residents are frustrated by what they say are constant disturbances at the lounge.

"I do wish him the best I wish it would turn out better but he does not have the building, the security or the parking to carry on what he's got going on," Lonnie Albertson said.

But Overton tells 3 News Now he's tried to work with the businesses around his bar, and even the city to fix the parking problem.

"I'm doing everything I can," he said. "Every time that I actually did something to mitigate the issues with parking and to keep those patrons away from the neighborhood, they came and they actually blind sided me and blocked me."

Overton went on to say he understands his neighbors concerns, but he also worries about his employees.

"I'm going to fight it tooth and nail to do whatever I can because I've got people that depend on me to actually go ahead and feed their families and take care of their children," he said.

Overton plans to appeal if the liquor commission denies his license.

The city finance department also spoke out against Overton regarding some unpaid taxes, but he says he made arrangements to pay Tuesday.