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Judge denies Club Envy's motion to restore liquor license

Posted May 28, 2010

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— An administrative law judge on Friday denied a motion from the owners of a Raleigh nightclub for a temporary restraining order so the club could continue to sell alcohol.

The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission on Wednesday revoked the liquor license for Club Envy, at 3201 New Bern Ave., under the agency's Last Call program.

Attorney Steven Epstein, who represented the owners of Club Envy, said on Friday that, without the license, the business will shut down, putting 65 people out of work.

Club Envy Judge denies Club Envy's request for temporary order

All of the clubs targeted by the Last Call program can continue to operate but cannot sell alcohol.

Since last month, the ABC Commission has worked with the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement to revoke liquor licenses at clubs in Hickory, Winston-Salem and Greensboro in addition to Club Envy. There was a pattern of violence at all four locations, ABC Commission Chairman Jon Williams said Thursday.

According to Raleigh police records, officers have been called to Club Envy and its predecessor more than 200 times since January 2009 on complaints that included two shootings, five stabbings, two strong-armed robberies, one rape, one attempted rape, 31 assaults, 10 disturbances, fighting and eight reports of shots fired.

Early Monday, Andre Dane Gregory, 26, and Lamar Antuan Harris, 26, were shot at the club. Justin Terrell Griffis, 22, of 3760 Tryon Ridge Road in Raleigh, was charged on Friday with two counts of attempted murder in connection with the shootings.

Gregory was listed in good condition at WakeMed Hospital on Friday. Harris was treated and released, officials said.

An initial investigation showed the men were involved in a fight inside the club with several Blood gang members, Raleigh Police Det. D.T. Penny said in a sworn affidavit included in the ABC Commission's court filings this week.

Epstein argued there have only been two violent incidents at the Club this year including Monday's shooting.

“It certainly shouldn’t suffice and summarily without due process, kill a licensed business and that’s what they’re trying to do here,” he said.

“We’re not taking away his right to conduct business at his location, we’re merely taking away his privilege to sell alcohol,” ABC attorney K. Renee Cowick said.

In ABC's order to suspend Club Envy's liquor license, Raleigh police and other law enforcement described conditions at the club as hazardous. Authorities are at a substantial risk when responding to the location and do not enter the establishment without sufficient law enforcement back up, the document stated.

Israel Morrow, a special agent with  Alcohol Law Enforcement, said in a sworn affidavit that he will not visit the club when it is open without backup officers due to concern for his safety.

Raleigh officials tightened some local regulations after a man was shot and killed three years ago outside the club, then known as Black Tie Nightlife. Mayor Charles Meeker and Police Chief Harry Dolan said Monday that they wanted to review city ordinances again to curb violence at the club, which sits across the street from WakeMed.

Epstein has already filed a motion for a hearing to get his client's liquor license restored.

13 Comments

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  • CharliesImages May 31, 2010

    Took the proper channels a little too long to deal with this place, but I am glad the liquor license was pulled and I hope the place is permanently closed.

    Now is the time for Raleigh City Council to rewrite the laws on this type of business. This particular business location had a significant history of incidents on Sunday nights (Monday a.m.) hours. I'll repeat my previous comments: Raleigh isn't New York City or Las Vegas and we don't need late night clubs operating on Sunday nights into the early hours of Monday. It's time to close these types of businesses at an earlier time (as in no later than midnight) on Sundays. I also feel we need to give legal authority to our police, city council, etc. to speed up the process on pulling liquor licenses and/or business permits for facilities that repeatedly have violent situations, numerous police calls, etc.

  • Tired Of Excuses May 28, 2010

    GOOD!
    Perhaps the people who patron that place need to be taught how to behave in public. Something that's taught in the home at an early age.

    ...by parents or someone responsible.

  • hardwork919 May 28, 2010

    "68 employees to run a night club?" this is fdup

    I've never ran a nightclub before but I thought this number was excessively high too... that sounds like a lot of security and bartenders... lol...

  • Alexia.1 May 28, 2010

    This is a futile effort. If the police know it's dangerous and the public knows its dangerous, then who goes there? Dangerous people. If the doors are closed, they will go somewhere else. The problem is not the club, but the patrons at the club. So, what business owner will next have to deal with these patrons?

  • this is fdup May 28, 2010

    68 employees to run a night club?

  • OzzzMan May 28, 2010

    Want to buy some liquor cheap? Come down to club Envy

  • kawbkr May 28, 2010

    BOO HOO I am so upset!!!! Places like this should be shut down.

  • NCMacMan May 28, 2010

    @clintoflannagan
    When someone who is not insured goes to WakeMed, it is not paid by taxpayers -- the cost is covered by every other patient who has insurance through higher prices.

  • clintoflannagan May 28, 2010

    Well at least the place is really close to WakeMed that way when people get shot/stabbed they don't have very far to go for the taxpayers to pay for their medical care.

  • JMackneil May 28, 2010

    isn't it crazy that it takes over 200 calls to the same place to suspend the license? close it down as a hazrd to the community!

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