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31 Dec 11 City closes Club Chrome building; cites liquor and building violations – The State Journal

Mayor Mike Houston and other city officials Friday morning placarded the doors of a Springfield nightclub near which a 19-year-old was found stabbed to death less than a week ago.

Houston said the emergency closure of the venue formerly known as Club Chrome, 3075 Normandy Road, was based on violations of both the city’s liquor and building codes.

“The public peace or the safety or health of any person is likely to be endangered by the keeping open of Chrome,” says the order signed by Houston, who also serves as city liquor control commissioner.

The emergency closure is valid for seven days, until 11:59 p.m. Jan. 6. Houston said police will monitor the club to make sure it’s not used.

“I would anticipate we would be going into court seeking to have it closed permanently as a nuisance,” Houston said.

The club’s owner, Neil Patel of St. Louis, couldn’t be reached for comment.

A team of city officials helped placard the nightclub on Friday, including Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams, Deputy Police Chief Bob Markovic, Ward 2 Ald. Gail Simpson and representatives of the city’s building and liquor departments.

Simpson called the emergency order a “proactive move.”

“I think it’s an opportunity to make a real assessment about what needs to happen to the property and to avoid anything going on this weekend that might possibly spill over from what happened last weekend,” she said.

A fight inside the building early Christmas morning spilled outside, where 19-year-old Mack Irvin Holman was fatally stabbed in the chest.

The club’s liquor license was revoked by the city in March because customers were smoking marijuana on the premises, the city said previously. Patel told The State Journal-Register last weekend that Club Chrome was closed but the building was used for private parties about twice per month,

While investigating the Christmas homicide, police learned the club was allowing people into the building even though no valid certificate of occupancy is on file with the city, according to Friday’s order. Some patrons also were allegedly allowed to enter through a “VIP” entrance — in possession of alcohol and without being checked for identification or for weapons, according to the city.

The city also says the club violated city rules on or around Christmas Day, when it sold alcohol without a license and permitted consumption or possession of alcohol at the club.

It was unclear Friday afternoon what aspects of the building code the club allegedly had violated. John Sadowski, the city’s building department manager, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Simpson called the condition of the club “reprehensible” and said she wants to see it demolished.

“I’ve been fighting it for a while,” she said. “It just seems like it falls on deaf ears. Unfortunately, it took another death to bring it back to the forefront.”

Staff writers Rhys Saunders and John Reynolds contributed to this report. Deana Stroisch can be reached at 788-1533.

Police seeking information

Police are still looking for information about who stabbed 19-year-old old Mack Irvin Holman of Springfield near the former Club Chrome early Christmas Day.

Anyone with information on the stabbing or the fight that led up to it can submit tips anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 788-8427 or they can submit a tip online at Tips can also be sent by text. Type TIP672 plus a message and send to CRIMES. Informants are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000.


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