New Orleans seafood restaurant JJS has come under fire for failing to disclose the full name of its owner’s business to the city and violating a local ordinance prohibiting restaurants from operating in commercial zones.
The Louisiana Department of Health has now launched an investigation into the case, which is being handled by the New Orleans Police Department’s Civil Rights Division.
On Monday, the department said it received a complaint about JJS’s location on South Claiborne Avenue, just across the river from New Orleans’ famed Jazz Festival grounds.
JJS’s website says it is “a seafood and seafood restaurant that brings fresh fish to our guests every day.”
It states that the restaurant is “the only one in the entire state of Louisiana to be certified as safe for human consumption.”
But the city’s Department of Business Affairs has previously said that the establishment has no such certification, and the department says it was unable to confirm that it was not the sole owner.
The department said in a statement that it is working with the city to determine whether any violations occurred.
“The department is reviewing all of the available information to determine if the JJS restaurant has violated any law or ordinance,” the department added.
According to the department, JJS violated an ordinance that bans restaurants from using commercial zones for food and drink sales, including food establishments that serve food and food preparation services.
In January 2017, the Department of Justice filed a civil rights lawsuit against JJS alleging the restaurant violated the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s regulations prohibiting restaurants in commercial areas from serving food and beverage to customers.
Earlier this year, the city of New Orleans reached an agreement with JJS to settle the case and remove the offending signage, according to a report by the Advocate.
After the announcement, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city was “extremely proud” of the restaurant, which had “done what any good restaurant owner would do” by disclosing its name.
While the city is still working to resolve the case with JRS, the agreement means that the owner of the JRS seafood restaurant will have to post a sign at its establishment that says “No Commercial Zone.”