NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Norfolk city attorney started proceedings Monday involving the two bars that were closed down at the Waterside Marketplace.
In August 2009, the city padlocked Bar Norfolk and Have a Nice Day Cafe. The city rescinded the night clubs' special use permits which allowed them to serve alcohol.
Several fights at Waterside and in the nearby garage led City Council to step in and take action.
But after both establishments ignored the council and reopened and served alcohol, Waterside Associates evicted the employees and padlocked the doors.
The bars felt as if the process was unfair. Two years later, the battle is still being waged in the courts.
On Monday, both sides were back in front of a judge. The city is working to show the court that over the course of years, the bars were routinely cited by both ABC and the Fire Marshal's Office.
From 2002 through 2009, fire inspectors found violations on six inspections in Have a Nice Day Cafe.
Bar Norfolk was written up five times over the same period.
Each inspection found multiple safety hazards including not maintaining sprinkler systems, and having exit doors locked and not lit. Also, on many occasions, they found the bars were over capacity.
Bar owners said they lost millions of dollars when the businesses closed. They felt as if it was a violation of their leases.
On Tuesday, the court will hear from the bars after hearing from the city's witnesses Monday.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.