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Five Points business owner suing cluster of bars upon his doorstep

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (W.A.C.H.)--A long-time local business is calling on city officials to stop issuing liquor licenses to some businesses in Five Points. They're basing this on how close the drinking establishments are to each other.

Sylvan and DuBose Jewelers owner Bruce Dubose is suing four Five Points bars for hurting surrounding businesses. He declined to comment, but Dubose says Lattitude 22, Lucky's, Pinch, and Cotton Gin all violate a city ordinance requiring drinking establishments to be at least 400 feet apart.

"Five Points is what it is; If you choose to live near it, you buy into the fashion," says Joe McCulloch, an attorney for Cotton Gin. He says the City of Columbia never had the authority to enact such an ordinance.

The suit claims that the bars, located within 100 feet of one another, have led to public urination on DuBose's storefront, vandalism, and a decrease in retail value. Now, DuBose wants to put a stop to it all.

McCulloch says the lawsuits, if successful, could cut out a great deal of tax base and jobs. He says keeping the so-called "bars" in Five Points from operating would set a precedence that could affect other drinking establishments across the state.

"Most other states have bars and there's no other reason for South Carolina not to grow up. I'd call on the city to rescind this ordinance and end this lawsuit," says McCulloch.

The defendants have thirty days to respond.

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