Neighbors worry about new nightclub’s impact in N. Charleston

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:37 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some North Charleston communities and businesses are concerned about a new bar and nightclub because of possible dangers they fear the business may bring.

The Aqua Lounge & Night Club will be located near the Singing Pines neighborhood with just a fence separating homes from the late-night business.

The North Charleston neighborhood was built in 1960 and now contains 88 homes. Since the neighborhood is so close to the surrounding area, nearby businesses have never been allowed to stay open late into the night until now.

Residents point to a state ordinance that says a business serving liquor must be more than 500 feet away from a school or church. When neighbors measured the distance from the new nightclub site, at 5624 Rivers Ave, to Triumph Church House, they say the distance was under that limit.

John Corum, the minister at Triumph Church House, says the location of the nightclub is going to be really dangerous for nearby businesses.

“We have services on Friday nights and certain Sundays. If the bar opens, it will impact the residue, the bottles, the trash, that will be all over the parking lot that somebody has to clean up because of the leftovers from Friday night or Saturday night,” Corum says.

Members of the Singing Pines community say they attended all city meetings related to the new business and spoke against it tirelessly.

Andrea Bailey Erb’s father grew up in the neighborhood 62 years ago and now lives there with her family.

“I want a safe place for my kids to go. My daughter’s best friend, her room will be within 100 feet of where people are partying and that’s scary. Her mom’s crazy about it. I don’t know what to tell her,” Erb says. “You know there’s nothing you can do but it shares a wooden fence with that property. So, it’s scary to think about that.”

Betsy Hayden, who has lived in Singing Pines since 2014, says the neighborhood is like a sanctuary and she is just trying to protect it as best as they can.

“Bottles are going to be crashing into dumpsters and it’s not even 50 feet where there are homes, dwellings where people are trying to sleep,” Hayden says. “So, if you can imagine being tucked in your bed, and all of a sudden, a stray bullet is going to come through your window. How safe are you going to feel when you’ve lived in this community?”

North Charleston city spokesman Ryan Johnson released the following statement:

City Council does not consider individual business types outside of zoning, and all businesses go through the same permitting process, which includes Building Inspections, Planning and Zoning, Fire Inspections, and Business Licensing.  This property is zoned B-2, General Business, which allows a variety of businesses.

There is currently no phone number to contact for the Aqua Lounge & Night Club. No one at the business answered to a knock on the door.