Wharton prepared to shut down Club Crave

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is working to shut down a Beale Street club plagued by violence.

The district attorney is already investigating Club Crave, but in a matter of weeks, the City of Memphis will take over Beale Street.  Wharton said he is prepared to act quickly to shut the club down.

Every month for the last four, there has been violence outside Club Crave.  The Beale Street nightclub sits just outside the Beale Street Historic District.

"It just has absolutely no place in that environment," said Wharton.

In a matter of days, a judge will rule on a plan for the city to take over the operations of Beale Street.  Even though the club is not part of the entertainment district, Wharton said the risk to public safety is too close for comfort.

"Separate and apart from our law enforcement responsibilities, we have an investment that we have a right to protect down there," said Wharton.

Wharton said he is prepared to take whatever steps necessary to put the nightclub out of business.

"We want to recruit new entertainment offerings for Beale Street, and when people do a search of the area and find out there's a place just a few feet away that has shootings and stabbings, just all sorts of things, it's going to hurt our efforts to bring new business to Beale Street," the mayor said.

Club Crave operators have told Action News 5 in the past that violence outside is not associated with their nightclub.

"We're not going to continue splitting hairs and saying it happened on that side of the sidewalk as opposed to this side of the sidewalk," said Wharton.

Wharton said the building owner is interested in evicting the current tenant, but he is prepared to file a nuisance order if necessary.  In the meantime, Wharton has asked Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong to keep a closer eye on Club Crave.

"I want enough manpower, police power, down there so that anyone who is even going near that place will think twice about trying anything," said Wharton.

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