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Despite complaints, downtown night club PRVLGD to keep liquor license — for now

WCPO prvlgd.png
Posted at 6:19 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 18:42:36-04

CINCINNATI — PRVLGD, a downtown night club accused of violating Cincinnati’s COVID-19 mask mandate and repeatedly causing a nuisance for neighbors, will keep its liquor license — with some caveats.

Owner Edet Wettee on Tuesday accepted the city’s ultimatum to sign an agreement promising improvements to his embattled business.

“He’s trying to do the right thing here,” said attorney Greg Nolan, adding later: “This is his livelihood. Everything is at stake for him here.”

The agreement requires Wettee to follow Ohio liquor laws, comply with COVID-19 health orders, maintain police security around the West Fifth Street club, pick up litter and meet with the community five times each year.

If PRVLGD violates any of these provisions, the city could sue Wettee and a judge could order him to surrender the club’s liquor license.

PRVLGD has been a source of neighborhood complaints since at least 2017, according to the evidence arrayed against it in an October 2020 liquor license hearing.

Last August, city data indicated the lounge had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 safety precaution complaints in the city.

Capt. Doug Wiesman of the Cincinnati Police Department said PRVLGD has seen several noise complaints, a rape investigation, shots-fired runs and felonious assaults. A fight at the bar in June 2020 took officers from all five of Cincinnati's police districts to break it up.

"It starts like clockwork every Thursday night, and it continues through Sunday,” said April Martin, who lives nearby. “And we're tired of it."

Nolan, Wettee’s attorney, said many of the altercations at the heart of neighbors’ complaints happened in an adjacent parking lot owned by the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, not inside the bar.

“My client has no control over that parking lot,” Nolan said.

Wettee pays $4,600 a week to have police officers patrol the lot and both entrances to the club, according to Nolan.

Still, said neighbor Janet Nelson: “As a concerned resident, I do not want their liquor license renewed."