A Cleveland nightclub, where a man was murdered last year, will be allowed to reopen with significant conditions, according to an agreement filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
Club Fly Hygh, located near E. 70th Street and Superior Avenue, was closed — boarded up and padlocked — last February, weeks after 30-year-old William Burton Jr. was found shot in the club’s bathroom. He died of his injuries. There had previously been other incidents of violence in the club, including a 2014 stabbing and a 2013 shooting outside the club.
In February, 23-year-old Daverrick Lash was found guilty of that 2015 murder. His sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, March 10.
According to an agreement reached between the City of Cleveland and club owner Carlton Story, the business can reopen, so long as it does not operate as a nightclub and the name is changed to something other than “Club Fly Hygh.” All exterior signage with that name must be removed.
It must open as a “restaurant/reception hall” and must close by midnight. The agreement also stated an off-duty Cleveland police officer must work as security outside the building while it’s open at night. An additional off-duty officer must be added for every 100 people in the premises.
The agreement stated that no one with a concealed carry permit will be allowed inside the club. The agreement also requires owners to install exterior cameras at all four corners of the building, and make that video available to Cleveland Police.
If a shooting or stabbing occurs inside the club, the building must be immediately boarded up and declared a nuisance. Voters would be able to decide if the business should be allowed to keep its liquor permit. If there’s violence outside the club, the city would decide if sanctions should be imposed.
Reached by phone, Story defended himself and said he is active in his community. He said he planned to reopen a business in that location, but he was not sure what kind or when.
He said the requirement to staff off-duty officers in order to serve alcohol would be cost prohibitive.
Some neighbors were concerned the reopening will increase crime.
“It won’t change nothing," Brian Howard said, "I mean, the police might make it a little better, be better security, but I don’t think too much will change.”
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