DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Those who work at a Deep Ellum bar accused of allowing unruly patrons inside are speaking out. They believe their bar was unfairly shut down.
In May, the Deep Ellum bar Vinty was forced to close down after the Dallas City Council denied a permit they needed to legally operate. One of the bar’s owners, Mark Kirk, is now fearful for his family’s future.
“This is how I make my money,” said Kirk. “Since 2011, we have put $300,000 into this business.”
“We’ve lost our jobs due to false accusations,” said Kirk’s daughter Alexis.
In a public hearing, Kirk was hoping the city would approve the application for the renewal of a Specific Use permit, which allows his bar to sell liquor.
The council denied the request. Their reason based largely with what the Deep Ellum Foundation, a non-profit that works to enhance and improve the area, had to say.
“This is the first time in ten years we recommended denial,” said Deep Ellum Foundation President Jon Hetzel. “In the case of Club Vinty, we got an overwhelming opinion from the police department that they were causing a lot of the issues.”
The issues were documented by police in a letter citing numerous incidents of major disturbances, disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
“Nobody has ever been cited for public intoxication,” said Kirk. “Nobody has ever been written a ticket for disorderly conduct or major disturbance.”
“We didn’t find any other bar that had even half the number of incidents immediately outside the bar and since they closed, we noticed a dramatic decline in issues in the area as well,” said Hetzel.
Kirk disagrees and said those types of incidents happen outside his bar.
“At the end of the day the crime isn’t happening here,” said Kirk. “The crime is in Deep Ellum.”
Kirk started a petition, getting 40 businesses to show their support for Vinty getting its Specific Use permit.
“If you look on these literally every bar, restaurant down here has supported our SUP,” said Kirk. “I hope the city council can overturn their decision.”