They are called “bottle clubs” and they are becoming more popular. They are venues that don’t sell alcohol but people can bring their own. These businesses now can operate without a liquor license. Omaha State Senator Theresa Thibodeaux is sponsoring a bill, LB 747 that would require these establishments obtain a liquor license even though they don’t sell liquor.
Omaha City Councilwoman Aimee Melton recently testified in the Legislature in favor of the bill. She says, “In our legislation right now we just have a loophole for these bottle clubs. It is my opinion they should follow the same rules as everybody else, especially when you have alcohol consumption going on inside clubs where you have no control over the age, who is in there and how much they are drinking. This is really a safety issue.
Melton says this bill would give law enforcement the opportunity to enter these businesses and make sure everything is going okay. Right now they need to obtain a warrant to do so. She says as long as the bottle clubs are following the state rules and there is no underage drinking they have nothing to worry about.
Melton says, “Up until 2004 bottle clubs were included in the Nebraska statute. In 2004 it was removed because we didn’t have any bottle clubs. This is closing up a loophole that was created in 2004.”
There are several bottle clubs in operation in Nebraska. There are several in adult clubs in Omaha that include adult entertainment but one in Lincoln that offers axe throwing.