Owner Gets Clearance to Demolish Beale Street Club

Owner Gets Clearance to Demolish Beale Street Club

Years of fights, stabbings and shootings will come to an end as the new owner of a Beale Street club prepare to demolish the plagued building.
MEMPHIS, TN - Years of fights, stabbings and shootings will come to an end as the new owner of a Beale Street club prepare to demolish the plagued building.

The District Attorney's office used a nuisance order to shut down 380 Beale in January, then Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said he wanted the building torn down. Now the District Attorney's office has given the new owner of the building, George Miller, permission to tear down the property.

Miller had leased the property for years, Beale Street Development has been in court with Miller for nearly a decade trying to get the property back. Recently, a Judge sided with Miller, stating that according to the original lease agreement, he had a right to buy the property. Miller is now the rightful owner and he can move forward with demolition.

The owner of one of Beale streets oldest businesses, James Clark with Eel Etc., has a front row view of Beale Street's most notorious club. Clark says, "I think the biggest problem with that place is perception, when you hear 'shooting at a club on Beale' even though it's out of the district when people from out of town hear that, they say, 'I'm not going to Beale, that's dangerous.'"

The District Attorney's office shut down Crave in January, after one person was killed and two others injured in a Christmas Eve shooting. It was the latest in a series of violent encounters outside the club. At that time Mayor Wharton called the land "cursed" and asked that the building be demolished.

The previous establishment in that same location, The Plush Club, also, shut down by a nuisance order. Different name, same story. Assistant District Attorney, Paul Hagerman says, "What the Mayor said about the land being cursed, I'm not sure about that, but we've seen too many violent episodes happen there. First, when it was the Plush Club and we shut them down and kept them down for a long time and Club Crave came next and we saw similar problems."

Business owners say cursed or not, the spot draws a bad crowd. Clark says, "It will open as a venue for mature people then it will turn into something for the youngsters and young people seem to have a problem with it trying to maintain their character."

Since Miller now owns the building, on Monday the District Attorney's office gave him the green light to demolish the building. "Litigation still goes on," Hagerman explains, "We still have a court date, there's been no disposition of the case, it's still pending, but Mr. Miller, and his company, we gave them permission. They stated their intentions to begin demolishing the building as soon as possible."

Abc24.com was unable to reach Miller, but according to a court filing, Miller's company plans to turn the space into a parking lot.

They are scheduled to be back in court in May.

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