UPDATE: An Unclear Future for Bar with History of Violence

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 8/26/13 @ 6:20 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A bar brawl during the weekend ended with a stabbing, and some city leaders say it's the final straw for a place already known for violence.

“I think you take your life in your own hands when you go into that place,” Charleston Mayor Danny Jones said. “They call it the Sky Lounge; we call it the die lounge.”

When the Sky Lounge opened in 2010, it was meant to be a safe place for young professionals to relax after work. Jones said it’s anything but that.

“We've had a shooting right at the door. We've had a stabbing inside the place. What's it gonna take?” Jones said.

That stabbing happened Saturday night, but talk about night and day: it was all business on Capitol Street on a weekday afternoon. However, problems do spill over into daylight hours.

“At times we've seen cocaine paraphernalia out here. I think it's been that way on every other (window) ledge,” Harry Bell said.

Bell’s law firm is two doors down from the Sky Lounge. Drugs on his window seal and broken windows are some of the problems he faces.

“It's got to stop. It's got to end now,” City Council member Chris Dodrill said.

Dodrill is looking for ways to make places like the Sky Lounge safer.

“Perhaps we should revisit our zoning laws and look at what an establishment has to do to serve alcohol at night. Maybe they have to serve food at the same time,” Dodrill said.

“It wouldn't hurt at all to have someone (police) down here; have drug dogs down here on a regular basis,” Bell said.

Jones says the best solution is to close the doors for good.

“I regret that I ever allowed them to have a conditional use permit, and if there comes a point where we can take it away, we will,” he said.

Jones is looking into what it would take legally to close the bar.

WSAZ.com has contacted the owner, Morgan Pauley, but hasn’t heard back from her.

We spoke with her last fall when her liquor license was suspended -- following a triple shooting at the bar.

At that time, she said she planned to open under new management and work to make the place more laid back and safe.

The ABCA is working with Charleston Police to determine whether or not to suspend that liquor license again.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man is recovering from a stab wound, and it happened at a place that's no stranger to violence.

Police say Sebastian Williams, 26, was stabbed in the middle of his back when a brawl broke out at the Sky Lounge bar on Capitol Street.

Police say Williams was not part of the fight. Apparently when people were trying to leave, he was knocked to the ground. When he was pulled up, he realized he was bleeding.

Police say they have had numerous problems at the Sky Lounge including fights and shootings.

Gary "Gig" Robinson with the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (ABCA) tells WSAZ.com the agency is investigating the incident. He says the ABCA is currently working with the Charleston Police Department on the investigation.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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