In shooting’s wake, Bibb County Sheriff revokes liquor licenses of downtown Macon bars

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis again issued suspension letters for alcohol licenses this week, taking licenses from two downtown Macon bars in the wake of a recent shooting in the area, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

Davis linked the two local watering holes — Hoops Bar & Lounge and Recess Bar & Lounge — located next to each other on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to an Aug. 20 shooting that left one dead and another injured, the statement said.

The shooting happened at about 4 a.m. at the corner of Poplar Street and MLK less than 100 yards from the two lounges and came after a fight among several people. Robert Evans, 30, died from a gunshot wound.

Davis told both the businesses in their suspension letters that they “create a particular and severe risk of injury or death to any person or to any member of the public at large,” according to documents from the sheriff’s office.

Davis also noted in the letters that both the bars stayed open past 3 a.m. multiple times, violating local ordinances. Hoops Bar and Lounge also sold liquor past 2 a.m., according to the documents.

The businesses will not be allowed to sell liquor for up to 90 days, the documents said.

The revocations continue a trend of Davis and the county disciplining, and sometimes fully closing, business that are often linked to violence. Some other prominent closures and license revocations include:

  • The downtown bar The Thirsty Turtle made headlines in 2021 when Davis revoked its liquor license after a fatal shooting before it closed three months later.

  • M&M Grocery on Montpelier Avenue had its liquor license taken and was forced to close temporarily multiple times, most recently in February of this year. The store reopened under restricted hours.

  • Another convenience store, Friends Food Mart on Houston Avenue, closed last year after three teenagers died in shootings there within a two-month span. It later reopened under similar restrictions to M&M.

  • Davis ordered Rodeo Bar, a watering hole in south Bibb near Rocky Creek Road, to close following a fatal shooting in September and revoked its alcohol license.

  • Budget motels around the Interstate 475 interchange at Eisenhower Parkway were also the focus of nuisance complaints filed by former Bibb County district attorney David Cooke in 2020.