The party is over for an after-hours club operating as a speakeasy. Police raided the building after numerous complaints, such as noise and public indecency.
Neighbors expect this area to be a lot quieter after the club closes, and remains shuttered for building violations. Regina Mennecke says, “I’m very relieved because I sit outside in the summertime…”
Another neighbor, Mike Stratton, says, “They causing nothing but problems every night. Fighting. People pull guns out. They finally shut it down. They need to.”
Erie SWAT, the State Police, and other agencies made their way into Night Cap at the corner of East 11th and Wayne Streets, formerly the Bearded Lady. The raid took place around 2:45 Sunday morning.
Sergeant William Stuckey of the PSP says, “It was active. It was open. It was operating, and they were actively selling alcohol without a license Saturday night.”
EPD recovered a 9mm handgun and a bag of suspected marijuana from a trashcan on the property. State Police seized nearly $2,200, 10 liters of liquor, and 2.5 gallons of beer.
Police say about 20 people poured were in the club, four of whom operate the after-hours establishment.
Stratton says, “It was like the police force, code enforcement… They shut them down, but it was a whole bunch of people coming out drunk, smelling like straight booze in there.”
But, that’s not the only thing authorities caught wind of. Andy Zimmerman, Manager of Code Enforcement, says, “There was smells with the building because of the violations. You could smell those violations.”
Zimmerman says there were building, plumbing, electrical, and fire code violations. “Some of the violations are health and safety, and that’s why we put a ‘Keep Out’ on it until those violations are corrected.”
At least for now, the 70 or more patrons that police say would sometimes pack the club are gone. One neighbor says, “I don’t have to worry about having all the drama, the shooting going on. Fights in the road. I have kids. I can’t even send them outside, because I’m afraid, they’re going to interact with that.
State Police say criminal charges are expected within the next couple of weeks.