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CCPD proposes limited operating hours for smoking lounges

Posted at 6:40 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 07:40:11-05

In the state of Texas, bars and nightclubs close promptly at 2 a.m. The Corpus Christi Police Department want to make use of that law as a city ordinance, for retail tobacco stores, hookah lounges, vaping lounges and cigar bars.

CCPD will present the first hearing ordinance in Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Deputy Chief Billy Breedlove says this will help limit any late-night disturbances, “between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. there would be no lounge that would be open. Similar to what the bars are in town, you cannot have, serve alcohol between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.”

Complaints from neighborhood residents prompted CCPD to look into it further. They found that when smoking lounges that are in residential-commercial areas, stay open past 2 a.m. it only leads to concerns and issues throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. One popular smoking lounge that has gained a lot of heat, Tropical Hookah Lounge, has sparked the idea of a city ordinance to make sure smoking lounges like these ones are closed right at 2 a.m.

“It can draw a lot of people into the neighborhood and sort of cause ya know, disturbances,” says Deputy Chief Breedlove.

One local vape shop off of McArdle, agrees with the ordinance. JG’z Vape Lounge sits right behind a residential neighborhood, and owner JJ Garcia says he understands why CCPD are trying to get this ordinance passed.
If the ordinance is passed, the limited hours would effect their business.

“We have residential all behind our shop and so that we’re very mindful of,” says Garcia.

JG’z Vape Lounge has gained popularity in Corpus Christi, and they usually like to showcase local artists on the weekends.
Garcia says those nights will usually get started around 9 p.m.

“Then like I said, around 12 we’re trying to shut it down to be courteous to the residential’s that are behind us. Nobody wants to be bothered when you’re in your own personal space, ya know what I’m saying.”

The City of Corpus Christi believes that not only do late night smoking lounges create a nuisance, but also pose health risks.

“It’s a quality of life issue what we’re addressing and sort of regulating those establishments and when they can operate to make sure that the people who live in those areas where those places are, ya know are not disturbed,” says Deputy Chief Breedlove.

During the first hearing in today’s City Council meeting, CCPD will also clarify definitions in the smoking ordinance, addressing what is a smoking lounge and what defines these establishments.

For a look at the first reading ordinance on the today’s City Council agenda, you can find that here.