Patton has been in Hapeville since 1994 when he opened a pool hall that drew workers from the nearby Ford Motor Plant, now home to Porsche. That venture later grew into nightclub business. Patton estimates he’s spent “tens of thousands of dollars” in building permits to construct the facility and about $3.5 million in all developing his 10-acre property. He said his efforts have met with repeated threats from various city officials over the years, saying ‘we don’t want your kind here .”
But city officials insist they are good stewards of their city of about 6,800, at the edge of Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport. City Manager William Whitson said the “health, safety and community would not be well-served” if the city had granted Patton a liquor license. He said there were concerns about safety.
Whitson also disputed Patton’s claims of racial prejudice saying the city has a diverse population. He also said its not the city’s attempt to try to get the site away from Patton because of its prime location to Porsche.
“This gentleman was trying to embarrass the city into giving him an alcohol license,” Whitson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday. “It’s unfortunate Mr. Patton has chosen to exercise his First Amendment rights in this distasteful way. But we respect his right do so.”
The sign lists the names of 18 people, including Whitson, the Mayor and city council and other elected leaders.