SHEFFIELD, Ala. – Jokers in Sheffield is one of the most popular restaurants in the Shoals.
“This is the only Indian restaurant closer than Huntsville. We want them to be successful, we want all of our businesses in Sheffield to be successful and we want to support them,” said Sheffield Mayor Steven Stanley.
But after police responded to multiple, violent incidents at the location since the business opened in April of this year, the future of Jokers restaurant is now up in the air.
The mayor says he met with the restaurant owners on June 22, because of fights in the parking lot that occur after midnight. That’s when the restaurant transitions into a bar. The mayor says those fights have often turned into more than Sheffield police could handle. Often calling neighboring enforcement for backup.
“Things improved some after the meeting that we have on June 22, but they deteriorated most recently.”
Jokers license to operate as a business has been put in the front of conversation by the Sheffield City Council after a shooting on December 3, where three people were shot. One person from that incident died from their injuries. The mayor says most of the incidents have put officers and first responders in grave danger.
“It has an impact on neighboring businesses and the general public is put at risk when incidents like that occur. I think there were multiple shooters involved in that incident,” said Mayor Stanley. “Again, they all occur after midnight. We haven’t had a single report or arrest report that occured before midnight. It’s just a situation that we can’t allow to continue.”
News 19 reached out to the owner of Joker’s who was unavailable for comment. A hearing on the decision of the bar’s fate is scheduled for January 3, where the owners were asked to present to the city council a plan to create a safer environment at the bar.