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Residents in downtown Jefferson City upset with new business

Several residents and businesses on High street and Lafayette street are upset with a new business in town, after they witnessed people urinating and littering in the street.

Golden Smoke, a hookah lounge, opened the beginning of May of 2016. Since their opening, businesses and residents in the area aren’t happy.

According to one resident, the area was quiet until Golden Smoke opened.

Residents in the area that ABC 17 News spoke with wanted to remain anonymous but said that Thursday to Saturday nights, the people that gather outside are loud, litter in the streets, urinate and even have sex in public.

Waking up Sunday morning for one resident means picking up two bags full of garbage from the night before.

ABC 17 News spoke with the owners of that hookah lounge, who had a different side of the story.

Corey Hykes, one of the owners of the lounge, says the business has done nothing wrong. “We’re a legit business, we’re operating and in good standings with the city.”

When asked about urinating and having sex in the street, Hykes said he was unaware that either was happening.

Since opening in May of 2016, the business said it has gotten a lot of hate from residents and businesses nearby but said that occasionally they do get compliments from patrons who’ve visited.

“Our biggest goal is wanting people to be educated about hookah, we don’t want bad vibes, we want people to understand who we are. We’re not trying to create trouble,” Hykes said.

Fourty-five people are allowed inside the lounge at a time, and once they reach that limit people have to wait outside, which residents in the area say is the biggest problem. The business says they are only responsible for people within their property lines, which is blocked off with ropes.

“We don’t have the right to tell people what they can and can’t do when it’s outside of our property lines, we can only manage what’s inside our business,” Hykes said.

As far as the noise complaints from indoors, Hykes said they monitor the noise every hour and have a decimal reading model that shows them when they are going over the allowed decimal. The owners said they are always lower than what’s allowed.

When asked if they have considered relocating, the owners said, “It’s easy to give up, but we’ve decided a long time ago that we’re not going to leave, that we’re going to try and tackle the issue. That issue is people dropping trash, people being bad, we’re addressing those issues.”

ABC 17 News spoke with city leaders on the phone who say they are aware of the problem, and are working with law enforcement on a regular basis. Leaders say they are looking into ordinances and codes to make sure all businesses are abiding the rules, and will be informed soon on the latest improvements.

According to Golden Smoke, they’ve received one “disturbing the peace” citation, which they say they will fight in court.

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