Prosecutor won't try to close Have a Nice Day Cafe, VABC hearing results pending

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond prosecutors will not try to close a night club blamed by many for violence in the Shockoe Bottom area. "Have a Nice Day Café's" presence came under fire after a deadly shooting outside the club last month.

Prosecutors scoured through 36 months of records pertaining to the club. They say there's not enough evidence to shut them down.

"In the absence of patterns, I couldn't in good faith bring any action against the club," said Commonwealth's Attorney, Michael Herring. "I would love to. That would be an easy pan to sear, but the data don't support it."

Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring says closing the club wouldn't be ethical, at this point. But, he does see a problem, especially after 3 homicides in the last year and a half.

"I acknowledge, we still have an equation to solve in Shockoe Bottom," state Herring. "Because people want to go and enjoy it and they need to be able to do that without fear of being in the middle of fights or cross fire."

Other business owners agree and say the violence impacts business.

"It's horrible down here to have the reputation of being the wild west," said David Napier who is a business owner, and the leader of the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood association.

The night club still has some legal obstacles to overcome, though.

Right now the have a nice day café is awaiting the outcome of a hearing last week with the Virginia ABC that could impact its liquor license. The club is charged with having a drunk person loitering on the property while knowing the person was intoxicated."

A decision form the board is expected in the next 90 days. An official could opt to suspend, revoke, or fine the club's liquor license. Nearby businesses say they're anxious to hear the outcome.

"Granted, sometimes it does not bring in your favorite kind of people, but it's still people generating money to the area," said "Michael" who asked us not to use his last name. He works at Pizza Place.

"We don't want businesses to be closed down here but we have maintained an open dialogue with the Owners,' said Herring. "Try to get them to be better stewards of the real estate that they control."

NBC12 did stop by "Have a Nice Day Café" and call a managing partner for the business. We have not received a response from the business.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.