SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — A local nightclub owner is speaking out after city officials suspended her liquor license.
Now, she’s told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that they did it for political reasons.
Burn Lounge on Roosevelt Highway in the city of South Fulton has been open for seven years, and there have only been eight police reports filed for the location — half of them for car break-ins.
Shonica Crocker has owned Burn Lounge from the beginning.
She told Fernandes that she knew it was a high-crime area when she opened the club, so she hired off-duty police officers for security. For about six years, police were never called to the lounge.
“I’m an entrepreneur who took a risk to help better myself and other people. Why not? Just because it’s a nightclub, that makes it a bad thing? No way. I make an honest living, and that’s all that matters,” Crocker said. “It’s nightlife, right? It doesn’t make it a bad business.”
Over the last few months, there have been four car break-ins and police were called to the lounge’s shared parking lot for three alleged assaults.
They all involved a female security officer who used to work at the lounge.
During a March news conference, police said they pulled Burn Lounge’s liquor license because of the alleged assaults.
South Fulton Councilwoman Helen Willis said her constituents in the district have been begging her to shut the lounge down for years, but Crocker said that Willis said nothing to her about it when she was at Burn Lounge for a 2019 community event.
City officials can’t comment on any of this right now because Crocker has filed a lawsuit over having her liquor license pulled.
Brandon Johnson is another business owner in the plaza who said the city needs to do better.
“What needs to happen is collaboration. It doesn’t need to be a condescending thing, looking down on us. You don’t know who we are. I went to Morehouse, she went to Clark. We’re AUC. We’ve been here,” Johnson said.
That business owner suggested that a political action committee would be able to deal with the crime problem.