News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Close nightclubs or control activities

Decatur voters made a compact with city and civic officials in 1984 when they legalized alcoholic beverages in the city. Officials would maintain tight control over the sale of alcoholic beverages and keep down the honky-tonk mentality that so many people feared.

Generally, city leaders kept their word, but the New Frontier Club and Next Level on U.S. 31 South make a mockery of those intentions and promises.

Go back to Feb. 8 when Alabama Beverage Control agents arrested Frontier owner Jeffrey Ken Hitt, 45, for allegedly interfering with routine inspections at the club. They charged him with obstructing a government operation, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

On March 11, police showed up at the club again to break up a fight that drew what they said was a large crowd. In the commotion, someone knocked out a car windshield.

Then March 14, a woman claimed another woman assaulted her with a high-heel shoe when the victim objected to the woman kissing her boyfriend. The same night, apparently, a kiss wasn't the only action. The singer with a band performing at the club was in an altercation with the owner, and Mr. Hitt accidentally hit a bystander with a baseball bat.

Now, the club is back in the news. Police said they arrested the manager because they found four underage patrons inside the club May 17.

Police said when they went to the club May 24 to serve a warrant on the manager they found an underage woman serving alcoholic drinks.

Next Level, formerly Frankie J's, in recent months had reports of a shooting and fights that involved knives, razors and beer bottles.

A majority of Decatur residents want the city wet, but they want dives that break the law and won't control patrons closed. Period.

Hopefully, Mayor Don Kyle and members of the City Council convey that message to the state and the Police Department.

There is no place in Decatur for the type of activity that's being reported about the lounges.

Leave feedback
on this or

Email This Page