On the final day of the legislative session, lawmakers passed LB 1020 by a 48-0 vote.
This added an amendment to the current bottle club law that requires those clubs to obtain an liquor license and abide by liquor law rules. A bottle club is a membership only organization where patrons are allowed to bring in their own alcohol but liquor is not sold by the establishment. Shawn Harrington is the owner of Club Omaha says there is a lot of confusion regarding having a current bottle club license.
Harrington says, “Having the bottle club license, you are not allowed to have a liquor license at the same time which is essentially the screwiest deal of all. I don’t know how one thing has to do with the other. A guy could own a bar down the street that has nothing to do with the bottle club. This law essentially makes it so you can’t. If I decide to get my bottle club license and then wanted to open up a bar at another location or at another place in Nebraska, I would be forbidden from doing that.”
Harrington says there are a lot of things to figure out. They technically don’t have a bottle club license available yet and it appears the whole deal was thrown together at the last minute. He says it was the last bill of the legislative session and believes it was rushed through. He says two attempts earlier this session failed it was thrown into a bill that had several other items in it and it passed with flying colors.
Harrington says there have been no problems with his establishment in Omaha. The city passed a Good Neighbor Ordinance and there have been no complaints or problems at his club.
Harrington plans a legal challenge to the law when it takes effect this summer.