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Norfolk City Council pulls permit for Scotty Quixx

A divided Norfolk City Council voted to revoke Scotty Quixx's permit, after zoning staffers said meals tax reports to the city and ABC do not match up.

NORFOLK, Va. — Leaders in Norfolk gave another Downtown Norfolk nightclub the boot. 

On Tuesday night, five council members voted yes, two voted no, and one abstained, pulling the plug on Scotty Quixx.

Norfolk City officials are cracking down on bars and restaurants for compliance, as they also recently revoked permits for Legacy Restaurant & Lounge and Culture Lounge & Restaurant

The latest vote from council led to longtime Granby Street business Scotty Quixx losing its special exception permit or what is now known as a conditional use permit.

A letter from zoning staff claimed meals tax reports Scotty Quixx sent to the city are lower than amounts submitted to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Authority.

Assistant City Attorney Katherine Taylor told council Tuesday night it is not known which of the numbers, if any, are correct.

"The city's position is that either violation is a violation of the special exception," said Taylor. 

Additionally, Taylor said it falls on the owners of Scotty Quixx to explain the discrepancy.

"They did not tell us," Taylor added. "Is it the MBAR [Mixed Beverage Annual Review] that is wrong? Is it the meals taxes they reported to the commission wrong?"


"We don't know why the numbers don't match. It's the city's responsibility to show that there was a meals tax violation. It's Virginia ABC's responsibility to show there was an ABC violation. Neither of that has happened," said Attorney Richard Ottinger, who spoke on behalf of Scotty Quixx co-owners Al Ragas and Chris Johnson.

Ottinger said that in their 10 years operating the business, Ragas and Johnson have never had their permit come into question before.

And contrary to the city's stance, the business owners believe a wave of violence ultimately drove the vote to revoke their permit.

So far in 2022, at least 15 people have been shot in the heart of downtown. Scotty Quixx, however, has evaded the recent shooting incidents reported this year.

"To take these people's business away from them is simply unfair," said Ottinger.

Ragas and Johnson told 13News Now prior to the council meeting that they wanted to do everything they could to save the business, extending a set of proposals to the city. Those included closing at midnight and reducing capacity. 

 "We feel that we're a vital part of this community," said Ragas. 

The owners said they are going to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, and about a dozen employees will also need to find new jobs.

"We're hoping this isn't the end of it. We're going to fight to see what we can do, and hopefully, we can be back open one day," said Johnson. 

Owners of another downtown nightclub, Legacy, plan to appeal the council's vote, which revoked their permit. Their attorney told 13News Now a court hearing is scheduled for October 5.

On October 11, the owners of California Burrito will defend their conditional use permit. The Granby Street business faces overcrowding citations.

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