Prattville City Council delays Club BTS license decision

Club owner Hiro Koda pleads his case to the Council - Photo by Marc Parker
Club owner Hiro Koda pleads his case to the Council - Photo by Marc Parker

Prattville – The Prattville City Council delayed a vote to grant a Lounge Retail Liquor, Class 1 License for Club BTS, LLC, doing business as Behind The Scenes, during Tuesday nights regular scheduled meeting at City Hall.

Councilman Mike Renegar moved to hold the vote for two weeks and the Council agreed unanimously to do so. The reason given for the delay was to obtain further clarification between a restaurant license and a lounge liquor license. 

Hollywood stuntman/actor Hiro Koda, with more than 120 films to his credit, owns the Club BTS which is housed in the building formerly known as the Cobbs Ford Grill. The restaurant/nightclub will feature movie memorabilia, comedy, live acts, and karaoke nights.

Koda’s desire to bring a slice of showbiz to Prattville, has created a bit of controversy in his attempt to procure a lounge license for his business. 

Koda applied for a lounge retail liquor license instead of a restaurant license due to the fact he understood that the lounge license would be required to permit they types of activities he desired at his establishment, such as live concerts etc.

According to Alabama Law Section 28-3A-11, “a lounge liquor licensee may permit dancing or provide other lawful entertainment on the license premises.”

During his attestation, Koda mentioned to the Council members that the Blue Iguana in Prattville only had a restaurant license.

“I know that the Blue Iguana that operates here in Prattville does not have a lounge liquor license even though they offer live entertainment,” Koda said. 

Council President Dean Argo then remarked that he has no idea what the Blue Iguana does as he has never been there; however, he did know that he was not in favor of the teen night that is held there. And he knows that they advertise having live entertainment, so he didn’t know why they did not have a lounge license. 

Councilman Tom Miller asked who actually enforced the ABC Board licensure.

“It is my understanding, after conferring with the City attorney, that the ABC Board does very little action unless there is a complaint from someone,” explained Argo.

A small group of supporters were on hand to help plead Koda’s case to the Council. Among those who took the podium to speak to his character, his desire to follow the law pertaining to this matter, and the need for this type of entertainment outlet were members of his own family and James “JT” Thompson (Koda’s Realtor) of Montgomery radio station Mix 103.

“Koda has presented this Council with the ‘letter of the law’ as it stands in Alabama,” Thompson stated. “The law states if there is live music or a cover charge of any kind, a lounge license is what that must fall under. So, my client is trying to do the right thing and apply for the correct license.”

Marketing Coordinator for Club BTS, Jake Johnson, said, “Golf tournaments and bass tournaments are coming to Prattville and people are staying the night and this will give them something to do… something clean and something safe. We’ll also have a transit bus system so that we can pick them up from hotels and take them back at no charge. I also strongly believe that Koda and his family would make positive role models in the community.”

During a short recess Koda was noticeably anxious about the process before him.

“I’m more nervous now than when I was jumping off of buildings. We really wanted to have a soft opening of the club on August 17,” said Koda.

When asked to comment after the meeting Councilman Ray Boles stated his concern about certain restaurants not having proper lounge licenses.

“I’m calling tomorrow to make a complaint on the Blue Iguana. They are breaking the law every which way but loose,” said Boles. “If we let one do it, we cannot let another do it. That would be like opening Pandora’s Box.”

“The Blue Iguana never got a liquor license like they were supposed to. I never realized that because I wasn’t around then, but I’m fixing to put the screws to them.”

The Blue Iguana is located on 1714 East Main Street in Prattville inside of Bama Lanes. When contacted by phone, General Manager, Chris Zinn, stated that as far as he knew he did not have to have a lounge liquor license.

“First of all, there are plenty of restaurants around the country that have entertainment. So, if he (Koda) is claiming just to have a restaurant, he just needs to apply for a restaurant license,” said Zinn. I’ve never heard of having to get a lounge liquor license if you have live entertainment.”

“We applied five years ago as a restaurant and was granted a restaurant license. I think if the gentleman offers a full menu like we do, then the city would have no problem granting him a restaurant license and would have no problem letting him provide entertainment. We’ve had the ABC Board come in on several occasions and if we don’t have menus on the table and a full kitchen they will cite us.”

The City Council is considering calling a work meeting to discuss the matter further before the next scheduled meeting on August 18.

Article by Marc Parker

© 2009 Our Prattville. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written consent of the publisher.

10 thoughts on “Prattville City Council delays Club BTS license decision”

  1. Prattville doesn't need another bar / nightclub. The streets are full of drunks now because of all the others. I don't think he will have a transit bus either.

    1. WHAT are you people thinking? How many more deaths do you want to see that are alcohol related. There will be teenagers going into the establishment and underage drinking will certainly occur. We do not need anything that has to do with alcohol in our city!! This club would be on one of the busiest streets in Prattville where traffic is already conjested . We dont need a bunch of inebrated individuals trying to cross the street and hitting an innocent person. I also think that the license for the Blue Iguana should be pulled. There are plenty of restaurants around town that adults can go to if they want to drink. PRATTVILLE DESERVES BETTER!!!!

    2. All the others? What others? There is only one real nightclub/bar in Prattville and that is the Blue Iguana which really is not a fun place to go. I don’t know this guy but if he says he will have a shuttle to pick people up then I have no reason not to believe him. If you sheeple don’t want to go to the bar then stay out. Let the police, of which there are many in Prattville, enforce DUI laws and if someone gets busted then they go to jail. You guys amaze me, I bet you were the same thumpers and rollers who were protesting against Hooters coming to Montgomery and would probably have a coronary if one tried to open in Prattville despite the fact that it is a proven money maker and brings in plenty of revenue for city coffers. Not to mention the fact that it is simply a restaraunt where the wait staff happens to wear hot pants and tank tops. Wussamatta U dona lika looka atta girls? Your Proctologist called and they found your heads.

  2. There are many drinking establishments all over the country where people drink responsibly and club owners operate responsibly. Why not give this business a chance to prove that they can provide great entertainment, which is something sadly lacking in Prattville? There are plenty of people drinking at home then going out and driving. Don't judge until you know the facts.

    1. Great Point. Prattville needs a Strip Club. I think the city would bring in a great deal of tax money.

  3. This is the "Land of Opportunity", no one has the right to stand in Mr. Koda's way of operating a completely legal and lawful business. It's not Mr. Koda's fault that it's legal to sale alchol or provide live entertainment and he has every right to take advanatge of them being legal and developing a business around it. Some of you folks are so stupid it's scary.

  4. Wow! Its amazing that the Blue Iguana has gotten away with this for 5 years. I've been there…and there aren't menus on every table after a certain time at night…probably because the ABC inspectors only show at earlier hours. i would love to see Club BTS open and provide the type of entertainment mentioned. Prattville needs another outlet. People have a choice whether or not to drink alcoholic beverages when they enter an establishment like that. Under liquor license laws, if you serve alcohol, you have the right to refuse anyone….and your bartenders and waitresses have a legal obligation to refuse to serve someone that displays any signs of drunkenness! Kudos to Mr. Koda for standing his ground & best wishes for his soon to open business

  5. Great club, very nice and classy. They do card you when you go in no matter whom you are. Very professionally ran. Great job guys love your club!!!!!! Variety is the spice of life good going!!!!! Prattville needed this place

Comments are closed.