Following two murders that took place outside the Buckhead Loft nightclub in the past 10 months, the Atlanta Police Department is zeroing in on the business with plans to shut it down.
Formerly known as Level V, the club is located at 2101 Tula St. in Buckhead.
During incidents in October and July, each time one man was shot and killed in the club’s parking lot after altercations took place there, and police said they believe the first shooting occurred after the altercation started inside the club before moving outside. In a statement, Carlos Campos, a police spokesman, said it began to investigate the Loft after the July 12 murder.
July 27, the police’s license and permits unit served a search warrant on the business for operating illegally due to not having a license from the state to sell alcohol, Campos said. The police even emailed the Neighbor an officer’s bodycam video showing the police that day removing about 850 beer and liquor bottles from the club, which were collected as evidence while serving a search warrant.
Also July 27, the club’s manager, Sherika Culbreath, was arrested and charged with failure to have a license required to distribute, sell or otherwise deal in alcoholic beverages. Aug. 2, the Loft’s owner, Terrence Herron, was also arrested and charged with the same crime.
“This is the fifth time Mr. Herron has been charged with operating a business at this location in violation of the law,” Campos said.
Herron reportedly got a new state-issued, temporary liquor license Aug. 7. William Gaston, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Revenue, which issues those licenses, confirmed it. So the police are planning to shut down the club by having its city-issued liquor license revoked. The matter is expected to go before the Atlanta License Review Board at its Aug. 20 meeting.
“Often times, businesses operating illegally bring about other illegal and concerning activity to the neighborhood they are in,” Campos said. “In the case of this business, we saw two homicides occur, involving individuals in the area who patronize this establishment.
“Addressing the business and its illegal activity is an effective method of reducing illegal activity in and around the area. Our investigators will continue to monitor this location for additional violations and we remain committed to addressing the illegal operation of businesses inside the city.
While a suspect was arrested in the October murder case, one has not been apprehended yet in the July one.
“Regarding the most recent homicide here, investigators have made significant progress in this investigation and they continue to actively work this case,” Campos said.
As long as the club remains open, the police will be monitoring it.
“Club owners have a solemn responsibility to operate with the proper licenses to serve alcohol and to ensure the safety of their patrons and the general public,” Campos said in a follow-up email. “We are prepared to address those who fail to do so.”
Phone and Facebook messages left with Herron seeking comment were not returned.