Local News

ABC program shuts taps at nuisance locations

Posted May 27, 2010 4:48 p.m. EDT
Updated May 28, 2010 3:25 p.m. EDT

— A Raleigh nightclub where police have been called dozens of times in recent months is the latest target of a state program that strips the liquor licenses of clubs plagued by violence.

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

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.

"We need to turn that cash register off and stop serving the alcohol and not provide that stage for the actors to come to," Williams said.

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. Police said the shootings remain under investigation.

"There was a threat to the public health, safety and welfare by the continued operation of this location," Williams said. "When you're starting to see shots fired and weapons used, that is highly dangerous and can be lethal."

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.

The owners of Club Envy couldn't be reached Thursday for comment.

All of the clubs targeted by the Last Call program can continue to operate but cannot sell alcohol. Club owners can appeal to get their liquor licenses back in an administrative hearing.