Police concerned about long list of police reports involved with popular downtown club

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Downtown Cincinnati residents are concerned about a long list of recent police reports involving patrons at a popular club.

Police say the 601 Nightclub could lose their liquor license.

A Cincinnati city memo outlines a handful of incidents involving gunshots and large fights either inside or just outside of the club. Residents say disturbances have gone on for months, and they want something to change.

Earlier this year, Paul Leesemann looked out his window to see seven police vehicles block off Main Street to try and control the crowd coming out of the 601 Nightclub.

"There's a lot of broken beer bottles right where the cars are driving. It's a severe disturbance that it often escalates to," said Leesemann.

Leesemann says he moved into the apartments on the same block of the 601 Nightclub about two years ago. He's been dealing with the same problems for about 18 months.

"It's recurrent, so it happens almost every week," said Leesemann.

A city memo outlines more than 10 incidents when officers have responded to the club. The bar currently has three off-duty officers working on Sunday nights, one on Wednesday nights and one on Saturday nights. Leesemann says he understands some noise level on weekends, but nothing like what he's seeing, especially weekdays.

"There's like a Wednesday night college night and around bar close, which is around 2:30, there's always a fair amount of yelling, pushing, and arguing but then sometimes there's even severe fights," said Leesemann.

Even some nearby businesses have concerns for the type of activity that occurs outside the 601 Nightclub.

"I think it would need to be toned down just a little bit," said Judy Henry of LaLa's Blissful Bites.

"I don't want to open late on a Saturday or Saturday night only because of this type of incident that can occur anytime in the night," said Cheikh Maalaynine who works at Heiba Haven.

The city memo states that Cincinnati Police have talked to one of the bar owners about the problems. The bar acknowledges there have been some issues, but they didn't want to increase police detail because of budgetary constraints. At this point, the memo states that CPD is not in favor of a liquor renewal for the 601 Nightclub.

"We definitely want to see a thriving downtown and a lot of businesses and restaurants and bars. My personal big push is I'd like to see the violence stop," said Leesemann.

Police plan to meet with both the concerned residents and nightclub in the next couple weeks. FOX19 reached out to the 601 Nightclub multiple times for their side of the story, but they had no comment.

A liquor hearing is set for April 14 with the Law and Public Safety Committee.

The state will ultimately decide the fate of the nightclub.

To view the full document from the City of Cincinnati, click here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1100626-city-memo.html

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