ABC permits suspended at Charlotte strip club after alleged COVID safety violations

ABC permits suspended at Charlotte strip club after alleged COVID safety violations
The ABC permits for Club Onyx have been suspended. (Source: Jay Boyd/WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A popular south Charlotte strip club has had its ABC permits suspended by the state ABC Commission.

The permits for Club Onyx were suspended Friday after multiple alleged violations of Gov. Cooper’s executive orders relating to social distancing and face coverings, despite a cluster of confirmed COVID-19 cases previously.

The first citation was issued Halloween night after CMPD ABC Detective Chad Denton found the club’s parking lot was “completely full” and there were about 83 patrons inside.

A few hours later, ALE Special Agent Kelly Kearns saw what she described as an extremely long, dense line of patrons wrapping around the building, waiting to get in. She also says social distancing was not practiced, nor was there consistent use of face coverings.

When she entered, she said there were more than 200 patrons inside within close contact, not wearing face masks, and a lack of proper sanitizing.

Kearns found a similar situation on Nov. 14 at the club. In the order of summary suspension, Kearns claims General Manager Daniel Newell told her that the club would continue to operate that way until something came directly from the ABC Commission.

It did.

An official notice was issued three days later after another inspection found continued violations.

Those violations were again found on Nov. 21.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris on Nov. 23 issued a statement of her professional opinion that the club is in violation of Gov. Cooper’s executive orders.

“Large indoor gatherings that involve close personal contact (e.g. dancing) without face coverings has substantial risk of fueling clusters of COVID-19 cases,” wrote in her statement. “Given the large number of young residents observed participating at these events, this could contribute to a reversal of the positive trends we have been seeing and increase the number of cases spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

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