Coatar, a lawyer, said in an interview that Reign has been causing trouble downtown “since the day it opened just over a year ago.” Based on his reading of the city’s alcohol laws, he believes the city’s excise division can act immediately to suspend Reign’s liquor license due to the shooting incidents.
We have a lot of bars in the 7th quarter. One where customers and employees keep shooting each other. The Reign Nightclub must be closed. It is a danger to customers, residents and visitors to the city center. Please help @saintlouismayor! Condemn the space and / or revoke their liquor license!
– Jack Coatar (@jcoatar) August 21, 2021
“I certainly hope this most recent incident will be the last straw,” he said in an interview. “You have several people shot dead in an establishment that sells alcohol. … I think that excise can act today and revoke the license.
St. Louis Excise Commissioner Myles McDonnell said on Saturday he spoke to city attorney and acting director of public safety Dan Isom but referred questions about the incident to Office of Mayor Tishaura O. Jones.
“The continued violence in Reign is unacceptable, and the mayor’s office is looking for solutions to address these ongoing issues,” Jones spokesperson Nick Dunne said in a statement.
A crowd of around 100 blocked Washington Avenue when officers heard gunshots behind the restaurant, police said.
Joined on Saturday, Dana Kelly, owner of Reign, asked the Post-Dispatch to email questions but had yet to respond on Saturday night. His lawyer also did not respond to a message.
Kelly has previously said she asked the police for more patrols when bars closed downtown and her business was unfairly blamed for the downtown problems leading up to her establishment opening. His lawyers have also argued that other businesses are not to blame when there are shootings nearby and that the city has targeted Reign because it attracts mainly black clients.