License Revoked: CPD shutters Empire Supper Club as attorney say - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

License Revoked: CPD shutters Empire Supper Club as attorney says city 'flunked'

The Vista nightclub at the center of a weekend shooting that injured 8 people is no longer open for business. (Source: WIS) The Vista nightclub at the center of a weekend shooting that injured 8 people is no longer open for business. (Source: WIS)
The Vista nightclub at the center of a weekend shooting that injured 8 people is no longer open for business.  (Source: WIS) The Vista nightclub at the center of a weekend shooting that injured 8 people is no longer open for business.  (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

The Vista nightclub at the center of a weekend shooting that injured 8 people is no longer open for business. 

A Columbia Police spokesperson says that CPD Chief Skip Holbrook made his final decision and has revoked the city-issued business license of the Empire Supper Club, located at 920 Lady Street. 

The statement says: 

Chief Holbrook finalized his decision to revoke the city-issued business license of the Empire Supper Club this afternoon and served an official notice of his decision on Bakari Sellers, the attorney for the business owner.  On the advice of the City Attorney, the Police Department cannot comment further on this matter.  

This comes days after the club owner, Joe Stovall, met with Holbrook to discuss the chief's decision to declare the club a public nuisance following the Sept. 16 shooting. 

The address where the Empire Supper Club is located has had a troubled history, including other shootings. 

In all, CPD arrested four men in connection with this shooting. Sources close to the situation told WIS that the shootout was a result of a music dispute. 

Sellers issued a statement late Thursday, saying: 

The City of Columbia Police Department did an amazing job of bringing the people who committed this heinous crime to justice but what they’ve done with this decision is made the business a scapegoat.

Until a couple of months ago, City of Columbia police department officers worked security in the parking lot adjacent to Empire Supper Club and there were no issues.

The police chief made a decision that his officers would no longer be allowed to do that. In an attempt to resolve the current issue, Empire offered to beef up security at its own expense. 

Not sure yet about filing an appeal.  Asked about whether Empire will take legal action against the city, Sellers said “the city has flunked its due process test.  All options are on the table.”

Irreparable harm has already been caused to the business.  

The bottom line is the City didn’t want urban environment in the Vista.  Now they won’t have one but the violence will continue. 

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