Written by Tri-State Defender
Club Crave – the controversial Beale St. nightspot – was shutdown permanently on Wednesday by virtue of a Shelby County Environmental Court order.
"This is a major victory for the city, the Downtown Entertainment District, and Beale Street," said Mayor A C Wharton. "Rest assured we will continue in our efforts to identify a more productive use for this property through our ongoing talks and negotiations with the property's owner."
The triumvirate of Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, Wharton and Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong sought the closure, and they got it.
According to the closure order, Double Entity Entertainment, LLC will no longer do business at 380 Beale Street nor operate a nightclub under the name "Crave" or any other name at the location.
Double Entity Entertainment also is prohibited from operating a nightclub or any other type of business or promotional event at any location under the name "Crave" or "Club Crave." In addition, Double Entity cannot promote, manage or operate any specific events in any venue if those events took place at Club Crave.
"What happened today in court proves what we have been saying: if your business is a frequent crime scene, we will shut you down," said Weirich.
The shutdown order came after the D.A.'s office and the Mayor's office filed a public nuisance petition against Club Crave, Double Entity Entertainment, Randy and Rodney Williams, Beale Street Development Corporation and George Miller on Dec. 27.
A triple shooting that included a homicide was the tipping point for the club after several other incidents in the club and the area that surrounds it.
Incidence of violence have been associated with Club Crave since it opened in August 2011 and before. On June 8, 2010, the D.A. and MPD filed a nuisance action against the "Plush Club," which was operating at 380 Beale. The "Plush Club" agreed to vacate the premises and cease business.
The property itself remained under the supervision of the Court until July 2011. After the court supervision ended, Miller leased the property to Randy and Rodney Williams and Club Crave began business. The petition filed against Club Crave follows a string of violent incidents beginning approximately seven weeks after Club Crave opened its doors.
"Ultimately our work on this will protect our citizens and the reputation of one of our city's most valued assets – Beale Street," said Wharton
The court has scheduled a Feb. 13 hearing for others named in the nuisance petition.
Tennessee's nuisance law defines a nuisance, in part, as "any place in or upon which... unlawful sale of any regulated legend drug, narcotic or other controlled substance...quarrelling, drunkenness, fighting, or breaches of the peace are carried on or permitted."