Bessemer city proposes changes to keep Gip's Place open - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Bessemer city proposes changes to keep Gip's Place open

Gip's Place. Source: Alan Collins Gip's Place. Source: Alan Collins

The city of Bessemer has proposed several changes to keep the live music parties going at juke joint Gip's Place.

The city says Gip's Place will be able to continue to legally have the parties, but Gip will have to make changes.

Bessemer City attorney Shan Paden says Gip can have the parties with live music but cannot sell food, CDs or charge a cover at the door. Gip must also work out a parking agreement with neighbors. Finally, the parties must end at 11 p.m.

It is hoped these changes will ensure that Gip's Place is not running like a business, which would put it back in trouble with the city. They changes are also to prevent public nuisance and protect public safety.

David Gespass, who represents Gip's Place, says he will speak with Gip Thursday about the changes. He seems hopeful that this dispute will be resolved.

"My big concern is that we are all on the same page...I am optimistic that things will get resolved relatively quickly," Gespass said.

The city shut down the juke joint about two weeks ago, saying owner Henry "Gip" Gipson was operating a business without a license. The city says in the past there have been more people at Gip's parties than is legally allowed since Gip doesn't have a business license. They have also had complaints about people parking on neighbor's properties.

Supporters have said that Gip's Place is where friends gather to listen to live music on Saturday nights. People paid a donation to get in, which Gip says goes to the band.

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