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Nightclubs on defensive under ABC rules

One win, one loss this week for Tidewater area nightclubs struggling to stay open in the face of enforcement action.

In Virginia Beach, where the city took the Encore Lounge to court over a pattern of violence, Circuit Judge Patricia West today ordered the bar’s license suspended pending further ABC hearings.   As The Virginian-Pilot reports, it wasn’t much of a contest.  Encore’s owner agreed to the suspension and did not bother to show up at the hearing.

The case marks the first time Virginia Beach has used a state law created in 2006 to allow a Circuit Court judge to suspend alcohol sales at an ABC-licensed establishment deemed to be a threat to public safety.  Police said they have been called to the Encore Lounge 116 times this year.

In Newport News, by contrast, ABC  enforcers failed to shut down The Alley nightclub for failing to maintain “peace and good order.”  Circuit Judge Vincent Conway Jr. rejected a motion to suspend the club’s license pending further action, as reported by the Daily Press.

By Peter Vieth

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