Norfolk club plans to reopen amid concerns of violence

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on January 6, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 6 at 7:41 PM

NORFOLK -- The owner of a downtown Norfolk nightclub that shutdown voluntarily following a shooting last month says he is planning to reopen.

Palace on Plume’s owner Kenneth Bullock closed the club amid concerns over violence. 

The club closed in December after a man was shot in the face outside the bar during a “Fireworks Thursday’s” party.  Four people were also stabbed during a fight inside the club last August. A 21-year-old was arrested in that incident.

On Monday, Bullock emailed city leaders his new vision for the establishment.

“The Palace strives to provide a fun and safe nightlife scene for a sophisticated and mature target group,” Bullock wrote.

The plan calls for increasing the age requirements to get into the club. Women would have to be at least 23 years old and men 25 years old.  Also, the club would enforce a strict dress code of collared shirts and fitted denim or slacks.

“By doing so, we hope to attract our target group, which is a more sophisticated and mature young professional,” Bullock mentioned.

Additionally, the owner says he would increase security at the club by hiring four off-duty Norfolk police officers.  Two officers would patrol the perimeter of the building and two would monitor the Plume Street City Parking garage.

The club would also increase in-house security staff to help control the crowd and staff would undergo training on customer interaction and etiquette.

In August 2011, city leaders considered taking away the Palace on Plume's liquor license after an argument inside the club led to a deadly shooting on I-264. The bar ended up keeping its right to sell alcohol.

City council member Barclay Winn explained the city has not decided to force the Palace on Plume to shut down for good, and on Tuesday council will hear an update on the club’s plans.

“I need to hear more about it. As far as I know they have a right to stay open,” Winn said.

Despite the recent shooting outside the Palace on Plume, downtown civic league president Kevin Murphy stresses crime in downtown Norfolk has decreased ten percent from 2012 to 2013.

“We’re certainly grateful for the continued work police have done to make downtown safe,” Murphy said. 
 

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