Felton Club: Who’s watching problem venue?

City agencies haven’t been on the same page when dealing with the Felton.

The Philadelphia Department of Licenses & Inspections revoked several of the Felton Club’s key licenses yesterday after a shooting outside wounded nine people early Sunday morning.

“The reasons relate to the violence that occurred in and around there, both inside and outside,” said Mayor Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald.

The district attorney’s office is also filing an injunction against the club, which, if approved, will shut down the venue for at least a year.

Mayor Nutter had strong words for proprietor Omar Infante at a press conference Sunday afternoon.

But East Detectives Capt. John Gallagher disagreed, noting that Infante was cooperating with the investigation and had equipped the club with a large security staff, screening entrants through a metal detector prior to the shooting.

“We have had a number problems at that location involving some shootings, but that doesn’t negate the fact that two people with semiautomatic weapons shot into a crowd of individuals,” he said. “The club didn’t shoot people.”

He noted that detectives believe that the shooters targeted the venue specifically because of its security measures and were there “by design” as the club let out because they knew that their intended target would be exiting unarmed.

Timeline

» August 2009: L&I issues a cease operations order due to incidents of underage drinking, after-hours drinking and the fact that the club didn’t have a special assembly license.
» September 2009: The city and club owners come to an agreement on a lengthy to-do list required for the club to operate.
» November 2010: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board grants the club a liquor license. 
» Dec. 26, 2010: A man is shot inside the club.
» Jan. 1, 2011: A man is shot and killed outside the club.
» Jan. 6: A “cease operations” ordered. The club closes.
» Late January: The club meets the terms of the September 2009 agreement.
» April 16: The club reopens without the knowledge of the district attorney’s office.
» May 1: A state police undercover observes liquor sales after 2 a.m.
» May 17: Citations are sent.
» May 22: Nine people shot.



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