A bar on the Tuscaloosa Strip has been closed and padlocked by the state over reportedly ongoing issues involving state-mandated insurance policies.

Alabama law requires businesses to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage and provide proof to the Alabama Department of Labor. According to a lawsuit filed by the state against an LLC called Royale Service & Hospitality in October, owners of the "Unique" bar that replaced Egans on the Strip have repeatedly failed to do so.

Get our free mobile app

The case has been quietly working its way through circuit court since then, but in early December, Judge Brad Almond issued an order finding Royale Service & Hospitality guilty of a misdemeanor and imposing a $1,000 fine to be paid to the Alabama Department of Labor.

They were also ordered on December 4th to stop further operation of Unique until they secured and provided proof of worker's compensation insurance coverage.

In an early January update, Almond wrote a scathing order that said the owners of the bar have continued to operate "in direct violation of the restraining order." He found them in contempt of court and said their ongoing failure to comply has increased the fine to $3,100.

Finally, he once again forbade them to operate and this time did not leave it up to the bar to voluntarily comply.

"The Defendant is enjoined from any further operation of the business until such time as proof of insurance coverage can be provided to the Plaintiff, and all outstanding fines and penalties have been paid to the Plaintiff," he wrote. "The Plaintiff shall coordinate a date and time with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department for them to escort a representative from the Alabama Department of Labor as they place padlocks on the doors of Royale Service and Hospitality LLC d/b/a Unique, 1229 University Boulevard."

AL.com, who first reported this news, said the padlocks are in place and caution tape is strewn over the bar's door.

There have been no updates filed by either side in the case since the January 3rd order finding management in contempt of court.


 

UPDATE: Unique says they reopened on January 25th.

Top Stories from the Tuscaloosa Thread (1/15 - 1/22)

9 of the Top Stories published by the Tuscaloosa Thread during the third week of 2024, which featured a ton of restaurant and retail development news and the area's first two homicides of the year.

Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

More From Tuscaloosa Thread