The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) is trying to put the brakes on biker bars in central Virginia. The ABC is warning restaurants and bars they could lose their licenses by becoming a hangout for outlaw motorcycle gangs.
The ABC says this crackdown comes in response to concerns from law enforcement in Greene County, Louisa, and Orange.
John Nagro, the owner of CJ’s at Byrd Street in the town of Orange, is trying to shake off that reputation for his bar.
“The windows aren’t black, there’s nobody undressed in here dancing. It’s not a biker bar,” Nagro explained. “Don’t just say because you have a motorcycle patch on there that you’re a bad guy, because it’s not true.”
Nagro believes police and the ABC are targeting bikers after a dust-up between a member of a motorcycle club and another customer
“You know, they all like to play dress up with their jackets and who they are, what they are,” Nagro said. “They’re good guys, they don’t bother me. They don’t bother anyone in this town.”
“Next thing I know, the big boys from ABC came in and basically threatened me that I was going to lose my license,” Nagro explained.
ABC agents are handing out the letter to 30 bars and restaurants around Central Virginia, including in the town of Louisa. It describes an increase of outlaw motorcycle gang activity, but these aren’t just your weekend riders.
Police describe the group as the “one-percenters”.
“Those one-percenters, the ones that create the problems for us in law enforcement and the criminal activity, is the area we need to focus on,” said Chief Ronnie Roberts with the town of Louisa police.
Visit NBC29 to check out the official statement from Virginia ABC, and to read the rest of the story.
Photo by m_e_mccarron