Reign Lounge liquor license decision pushed to State of Nebraska

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- Omaha City Council told the owner of a Florence bar Tuesday they must re-apply for the establishment's liquor license with the State of Nebraska.

Omaha City Council told the owner of Reign Lounge on Tuesday that they must re-apply for the establishment's liquor license with the State of Nebraska. (Brian Mastre / WOWT)

A number of longtime residents of the neighborhood spoke at Tuesday's City Council meeting, telling city officials that the Reign Lounge is a bad neighbor.

Neighbors played videos for council members, footage showing big crowds, noise, and disturbances that have occurred on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday nights in recent months.

Omaha Police shared a laundry list of incidents and complaints — from assaults to gunshots — the murder of Kyle LeFlore happened here last year.

Neighbors said they've had enough and that the owner hasn't proven he can manage the problem.

"It's unbelievable how our little neighborhood has gone downhill in two years," said John Lemen of Omaha.

"Our biggest problem is it went from a neighborhood bar to a nightclub and Florence isn't made for that," said Lonnie Albertson of Omaha.

The bar's owner for the past two years said he's being targeted by just a handful of neighbors, and questioned whether the city is welcoming to minority-owned businesses and their customers. He said he's tired and frustrated having to jump through all of the city's hoops.

The City Council voted Tuesday to send the issue to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, leaving it up to them to decide the bar's fate. The owner will need to fill out another long-form liquor license application to prove he can be a good neighbor.