Neighbors wage war on nightclub next to day care in MB neighborhood

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Neighbors in the Booker T. Washington community of Myrtle Beach are coming together to fight crime in their community, which they blame on a nightclub in the area that sits right next to a day care center.

Fannie Brown lives near Carver Street, where Club Congo sits across from a church and next to the day care. She says the club brings gang activity, drugs and violence to her community.

"You're going to have killings, you're going to have crime, and it all comes from there," said Brown.

Brown was the only one willing to talk to WMBF News on camera Thursday, but people in the community say the club is a hangout for those involved in illegal activity. They say the area is plagued with loud music and fights on almost a daily basis.

Neighbors say Club Congo had been closed for a few months since winter, but it's back up and running and so is the crime.

Over the last few days residents noticed brand new gang-related graffiti around the club on stop signs, buildings and even the sidewalks and roads.

Brown says she and her other neighbors have complained to police and the city several times and it's time that the City of Myrtle Beach take action against the establishment.

"The mayor of Myrtle Beach should come and say I'm not gonna tolerate that type of foolishness in my town you see," she said.

According to Capt. David Knipes, spokesman for the Myrtle Beach Police Department, they have only gotten three calls about Club Congo since October.

Brown says that number is an inaccurate gauge of people's frustration with the club because they are afraid to speak up.

Assistant City Manager Tom Leath says until the club is a proven nuisance to the community the city can't take any action. Leath says if the city becomes aware of trends in criminal activity or an overwhelming number of complaints about the club, they will do what they can to get rid of Club Congo.

Officials with Myrtle Beach's Zoning Division say the nightclub moved into the neighborhood before certain codes were on the books.

As a result they're able to retain the ability to function as a drinking establishment unless their business license becomes expired for a period longer than a year.

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