Downtown residents discuss changes since Reign’s liquor license suspension

FOX Files

ST. LOUIS– Some residents say they’ve already noticed a difference along Washington Avenue since Friday’s action against Reign Restaurant.

Kori Robb said, “I’m like, where is everybody at?”  Juan Eason added, “It worked in two days, yes.”

Eason can see Reign from his front door.  He offered this solution, “Don’t have no young crowd come in, that’s what I suggest.”

He said not all bars are alike. As he said, “sometimes they try to do the right thing. They do cover charges, you know, you gotta pay to get in because people go in and they drink a lot and get crazy so you gotta do a cover charge.”

He said he’s seen it work to keep a calmer atmosphere.

Reign’s owner Dana Kelly agreed to an interview with FOX2 before Friday’s hearing but cancelled afterwards.  The three-and-a-half-hour hearing included additional allegations that Reign failed to cooperate with police about the shooting caught on tape.

Kelly, again today, declined to talk through a media rep.

However, downtown resident Shakecha Shaw questioned the government action against Reign. Shaw said, “I don’t think Reign should be held 100% accountable for something that happened on the city’s property.”

She pointed out other shootings just this past weekend outside other downtown St. Louis bars, yet she said, “All I keep hearing about is Reign, Reign, Reign.”

Kori Robb said she’d thought about going to Reign but that it “…just didn’t seem like a setting that I wanted to put myself in.”

Robb said she stayed away from Reign after hearing about violence.  She said she’s been impressed by bars that kick her out after a certain hour, because she’s 23. She said, “They’ll even start like 25 and older or 30 and older. I’m not that old, so I can’t join, unfortunately, but I understand because it’s a lot of the younger kids who have the chaos going on.”

Robb added, “You do actually have a responsibility. You have a business. So just like if you were serving food, you have a responsibility to serve healthy food and keep your customers coming back. Same thing with a club, you do share some responsibility in keeping the community safe.”

Reign faces another hearing at the end of September before it could regain its liquor license.

Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office added that the Excise Division is stepping up enforcement at other establishments as well, but that it’s also hoping to work on creating positive and engaging events and spaces for people to enjoy downtown. 

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