Opp's Little Harlem Club Could Be Shutdown Permanently

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By Amanda Wade

The Little Harlem Club in Opp could be shutdown permanently after a shooting last week inside the building left one man dead and several other injured.

Opp's City Council tabled a motion to revoke the business license from the Little Harlem Club, and community members have mixed feelings about its future. Its doors will not be open for the time being because of alleged violations.

The Little Harlem Club sits at the end of Hardin Street with homes right next door. Community members, like Betty Davis, have mixed opinions about what should happen to the business after last week's murder, "Closed. Shut down. Forever. Cause if they don't shut it down somebody else going to what? And that's just a waste of people's lives getting messed up again."

Tanya Davis, who was at the club the night of the shooting, feels differently, "As far as the club goes, I mean, someone could get killed in your back yard. So, trying to revoke this man's license, I think that's all bogus."

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald wrote a letter to the mayor recommending the club's license be revoked immediately. He says the club is a place where alcohol has been consumed by minors, drugs have been sold, and violence is a recurring problem, "This is the third incident where there's been a homicide either in the club or at the club property, so I think I owe it to the citizens of that particular district to try to remove that so it's safer for them down there."

Although a decision on the license has not been made, Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin says he receive a compliant of overcrowding after the shooting. He says an investigation through the fire department and the state fire marshall found several fire and health code violations, "They are in the process now of working an order, a cease and desist order, for the property, until a later date when they can come and get the facility back in compliance with the codes not only of the city but the state of Alabama."

Mayor John Bartholomew also says he would like to see the club shutdown because of the violent atmosphere it creates.

The city was not able to provide us with a way to contact the club owner.