Residents, police want bar with history of trouble to stay closed

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some residents and city officials are joining forces to try to stop a bar with a history of problems from re-opening under new ownership.

For the last few months, the $3 Lounge on St. Johns Avenue has been vacant, shut down after complaints about too much crime.

Recently word got out that someone wants to reopen the closed club. A Summerville man filed for a business license and wants to call it Bossez' Lounge and operate it as a sports bar.

People who live nearby launched a petition drive to try to stop the new owner from getting a liquor license.

The bar is located in North Charleston City Councilman Kurt Taylor's district. Taylor is speaking on behalf of the concerned citizens.

He says they fear a repeat of what happened under the old ownership.

"We had a bar that got out of control that was a burden on the neighborhood," said Taylor. "Cars parked everywhere, too many people, not enough parking, too much negative action, too many police calls."

According to North Charleston Police records, in 2010, there were 67 calls for service at the $3 Lounge.

We're told 47 reports were taken for crimes that included robberies, weapons violations, assaults, drugs, disorderly conduct and liquor law violations.

Police say at Pete and Rita's Social Club which is right next door, it was a much different story. They say last year there were only had two calls for service at that business, one for aggravated assault and the other for a harassing phone call.

Taylor says the prospective owner of the former $3 Lounge has another problem. He says the property is not zoned to be run as a bar.

"The applicants will need to demonstrate to the city this place will be a restaurant and not a wild west bar," he said.

It will be up to the City of North Charleston's zoning department to decide if the property is properly zoned for a bar.

The S.C. Dept. of Revenue will have to rule whether the owner should be granted a liquor license.

The applicant declined to comment for our story.

©2011 WCSC. All rights reserved.