Flamingo Bar cited by ABC office 

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The owner of the Flamingo Bar and Grill, located on the Batesville Square, was charged by agents of the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Office last Thursday (March 10) with possessing and selling liquor without a license.

Cameron Wilks, 32, turned himself in, and was processed, at the county jail that morning and released on his own recognizance about 30 minutes later. It is not uncommon that bail not be required in similar circumstances as the charges are misdemeanors and will be heard in Justice Court.

Wilks owns another downtown business, Hollywood Cuts, also located on the west side of the Square.

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The ABC Enforcement Office operates under the Mississippi Department of Revenue. The stated mission of ABC Enforcement is maintaining fair and equitable enforcement of the Local Option laws, the prohibition laws, and state beer laws in the state.

ABC has 26 agents across the state to enforce beverage laws. Since 1966, ABC agents have successfully prosecuted in excess of 40,000 liquor law violations and destroyed approximately 3,000 illicit whiskey stills, according to information on the state’s website.

Violations of ABC regulations carry a monetary fine of up to $1,000 and possible suspension of ABC licensure for up to 12 months.

Batesville Chief of Police Kerry Pittman said officers were aware that mixed drinks were being sold at the restaurant, but the State of Mississippi has jurisdiction over bars and grills. Flamingo does have a valid beer license and Facebook posts continued to advertise Happy Hour specials this week.

The Flamingo Bar and Grill is operating on a temporary special use permit allowed by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, and Wilks is expected to seek board approval for more permanent status soon. The restaurant is located in the Downtown Business District which gives aldermen more control over types of businesses allowed and what is permissible at those locations.

Earlier this month aldermen denied a special use permit request to open a cigar bar in the Eureka Theatre building, saying they want to see the Downtown Square reserved for businesses that are family friendly. Some have suggested an order will be adopted banning the sale of alcoholic beverages of any type in the special business district.

The Flamingo is open for lunch and dinner and is available for private events and catering. Social media posts advertise karaoke and live bands on occasions. Online reviews of the restaurant’s dishes are positive with several customers commenting on the Flamingo’s wide range of offerings and heaping accolades on the Southern favorite chicken and waffles served there.

Wilks said the most popular items are the Flamingo burger and the wing selections.