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Raleigh officials reach settlement to close Club Envy

Raleigh officials have reached a settlement to close Club Envy, a nightclub that has been the site of numerous crimes in recent years.

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Club Envy
RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh officials have reached a settlement to close Club Envy, a nightclub that has been the site of numerous crimes in recent years.

The City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a settlement that permits the Wake County Superior Court to enter an order imposing restrictions on the owner and operator of the nightclub.

The city attorney's office, Raleigh Police Department and state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement reached the settlement with SCB Investments LLC, the owner of the property at 3201 New Bern Ave. where Club Envy operated; Bowties Restaurant Group LLC, the operator of the club; and Benjamin Becker, the manager of Club Envy.

The agreement prevents Becker and Bowties Restaurant Group from holding any ownership interest in any business in the city. Becker is also prohibited from managing any nightclub in the city.

Becker and Bowties also face the prospect of reimbursing the city $18,400 for investigative costs and attorney’s fees. The amount will be reduced by $3,860 over each of the next five years as long as they comply with the terms of the judgment, so they would owe nothing at the end of five years.

The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission revoked Club Envy's liquor license in May under the agency's Last Call program. The program targeted clubs where a pattern of violence existed.

According to Raleigh police records, officers have been called to Club Envy and its predecessor, Black Tie Nightlife, 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.

In late May, 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 with two counts of attempted murder in connection with the shootings.

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

Israel Morrow, an ALE special agent, said in a sworn affidavit that he would not visit the club when it was 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.



Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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