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The Kennedy nightclub's liquor license in jeopardy

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:02 AM
TAMPA -

The Kennedy, a posh nightclub that once drew Lady Gaga, might have its liquor sales suspended or revoked.

The business, at 2408 W. Kennedy Blvd., violated a city code by selling alcoholic beverages after 3 a.m., Tampa police say.

Tampa City Council members will discuss the matter on Sept. 13.

Property owner Gene O'Steen said investigators targeted The Kennedy immediately after 3 a.m. one night and spotted a drink in a patron's hand.

"They didn't even test to see if it was liquor, ginger ale, water or whatever," he said. "It has been happening to me at a lot of my properties. I think they have definitely been targeting me."

The code violation happened shortly after 3a.m. on May 20, a police report states. The club's manager was charged with a misdemeanor relating to the sale of alcohol.

"The club was playing loud music and patrons were allowed to dance, sit at tables and stand within the bar while consuming alcoholic beverages after 3:00 a.m.," a police report states.

At 3:07 a.m. an investigator ordered a disc jockey to stop the music. Minutes later, a club manager told investigators he had told staff "to clear the tables at 2:45," and he began taking drinks from patrons' hands, the report states.

The "boutique lounge" attracted singer/songwriter Lady Gaga, who popped in after her April 2011 concert at the Forum.

The entertainer joined the club's DJ on stage and wowed the 2 a.m. club crowd of 350 people with a surprise performance of her single, "Judas." The impromptu appearance was captured on cellphone cameras and posted on YouTube by scores of fans.

O'Steen said the discussion next week will be "just totally a waste of the city council's time," as the misdemeanor case hasn't been decided in court.


jpoltilove@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7961

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