Summer Ave. Nighclub Shut Down Again as a Nuisance

Summer Ave. Nighclub Shut Down Again as a Nuisance

"Club La Granja" has been declared a public nuisance by Memphis police and the Shelby County District Attorney. They call the Hispanic night spot a hot bed for drugs and violence.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Good riddance. Neighboring businesses couldn't be happier a Summer Avenue nightclub is shut down for the second time.

"Club La Granja" has been declared a public nuisance by Memphis police and the Shelby County District Attorney. They call the Hispanic night spot a hot bed for drugs and violence. The club's neighbors agree and they hope it never reopens.

The club was shut down at the end of 2011. It was allowed to reopen a month later after owners promised to clean up their act. The problems last time included drugs, prostitution and gang activity.

"We hope it stays shut down. As far as we're concerned it's been a nuisance since it opened," says Chuck Hogan, who runs Charlie's Meat Market right next door.

He says shootings, drugs and fights are all too common. "Crazy stuff that doesn't need to be happening."

The culprits were guests of Club La Granja. "That's not somebody we want to see back."

Police were called to the club 20 times from April 2012 to this January. The complaints range from aggravated assaults and robberies to fights and gunfire.

"One of my big trucks had a flat tire," Hogan says. "I guessed we ran over a nail. We discovered two days later there had been a shooting in the parking lot. We had bullet holes in our truck."

"Fighting. We know there's been fighting," says Ismal Odetallah, another neighboring business owner.

Under its 2011 reopening agreement, the club was supposed to prohibit drugs and gangs. Officers say that never happened.

In addition to letting known gang members inside, the club never checked for weapons. Managers also sold alcohol without a permit and allowed illegal dancing.

According to a release from the district attorney, the club allowed bikini and pole dancing without a permit, let dancers perform for tips, and disregarded illegal touching and lap-dancing that took place in full view of management.

"I don't know why they keep opening it since they have problems," Odetallah says. "What we hope is they shut down."

"It's a great neighborhood. There are a lot of great working class people who live back behind us here off of Avon," Hogan says. "We don't need this sort of problem in this neighborhood."

The club's owner, Milena Rivera, will be in court this Wednesday to answer to the closure and this second nuisance petition. The District Attorney's Office is seeking to permanently close the club.
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