GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 12, 2014) — A nightclub associated with 56 assaults over five years is one step closer to moving back to its original location.
For 12 years, The Tequila Nightclub was open for entertainment at 932 S. Division Avenue in Grand Rapids. But the club sat vacant for the past two years.
Neighbors we spoke with said they prefer the quiet of an abandoned building to the alternative.
The club owner, Roosevelt Tillman, has told city leaders he invested in this part of the community when no one was willing to take the risk, and now he wants to move back in to offer an additional form of entertainment.
Emma Jones, who lives directly behind the vacant club, said when the club, left it took a lot with it, “a lot of gunfire, glass being broken … lots of noise,” she said.
Denise Zakem, another neighbor, said she lives with a bullet hole above her window as a constant reminder of the what the nightclub means to her. “That happened at 2:30 in the morning,” she said. “They put putty so water wouldn’t drain down the house. It’s scary. I will be up at night with bullets flying.”
In April, Tillman went before the Grand Rapids Planning Commission in an effort to reopen the nightclub. He told the commission he had “no problem with the neighbors, no problem with anyone since I’ve been on that street.”
One Grand Rapids Police officer told the commission that in a five-year span at the club there were 56 assault reports. Since it’s been closed, that number has been zero.
The number of police calls to the Tequila Nightclub was a factor when the planning commission voted unanimously to deny permission to reopen the club. But Tillman appealed the ruling and claimed the police officer that spoke to the commission did not have documentation to support the claims of violence.
The appeal was granted, allowing Tillman to reopen his club.
The planning commission will meet in one week and will decide on the club’s hours of operation.
We attempted to reach Tillman multiple times for comment on this story.