Downtown Atlanta nightclub permanently closed after deadly shootings

A beleaguered Atlanta nightclub has closed for good after a series of shootings and more than 100 police calls.

Encore Hookah Bar and Bistro announced the closure on Instagram after a city lawsuit and impending eviction due to violence. His last night of activity was Sunday.

“They can close our doors, but they can’t take our memories,” the show’s post reads. “If you haven’t heard, after a long battle with the powers that be, [Encore] permanently closed. But don’t worry, I’ll come back and get better.”

Atlanta police said they have been called to the facility 171 times over the past two years.

Among those who lost their lives at the club was Ty Ross, 28, one of its security guards. Police say 21-year-old Damon Wilson shot Ross after Wilson was kicked out of the club.

Ever since Ross’ girlfriend Aaliyah Strong has been on a mission to see the bar closed and the violence in Atlanta nightclubs addressed.

“It started with an Encore, but it won’t end with Encore,” she said. “I feel like now the city is finally realizing that this is really a problem.”

When FOX 5 cameras appeared on Monday night, the place was already being torn apart. Trash and bar utensils were thrown near the entrance and the dumpster was overflowing.

Now that it’s closed, Strong’s focus is on preventing gun violence in Atlanta nightclubs.

“It’s about every place in town that’s operating without insurance or not properly protecting its employees,” she said.

Mayor Andre Dickens pledged to address the issues with what he called a “nightlife division”.

A spokesperson for Dickens said over the weekend the city held its first ever one-day training workshop for safety-focused clubs.

But Strong wants to go further, with a new state law.

“The bill I want to pass is specifically about security teams, clubs and lounges,” Strong said. “It’s to make sure they have the right insurance, the right training and things like that for their employees.”

She said she was also working to launch an organization to advocate for the safety of nightlife workers and provide support for families of victims.

Already, Strong said the family of another security guard who was shot and killed on the job has already reached out.

“I feel like it’s only part of the justice, but we have a long, long way to go,” Strong said.

David H. Henry