Nightclub incident topic of Bustleton civic meeting

Members of the Greater Bustleton Civic League approved three zoning applications and learned about a recent disturbance at a chronically troubled nightclub during the community group’s monthly meeting on Jan. 25.

Capt. Robert F. Ritchie, the interim commander of the 7th Police District, told neighborhood residents that officers responded to a 911 complaint of a stabbing on Christmas Eve morning inside the GoodLife Lounge at 9859 Bustleton Ave.

Officers responded to the scene at about 2:40 a.m. on Dec. 24 to discover that the purported stabbing victim did not have serious injuries and refused medical assistance. Police were unable to discern from the purported victim or witnesses what had transpired inside the club.

No arrests were made.

Late night revelry at GoodLife Lounge has been of concern to neighbors for years and made headlines last February and March following a shooting in a parking lot outside the venue. About a dozen gunshots were fired and three police officers allegedly assaulted shortly before 3 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2016, as 50 or more people congregated outside the nightclub. About two dozen were directly involved in physical altercations, police said.

Officers from two local districts responded to the scene, which is about one block from the 7th district station. No injuries were reported, but police made three arrests. Investigators later found 11 spent shell casings in the parking lot.

In the aftermath of the incident, GBCL President Jack O’Hara cited a series of prior community noise complaints regarding the same venue, which has operated as a nightclub under other names including Aqua, Pearl Ultra and Studio 98. On July 20, 2013, eight women were hospitalized after a motorist drove an SUV into a crowd of people outside the club at 2:51 a.m. Two victims suffered critical injuries.

Although marketed as a nightclub, the venue is nominally home to a chapter of the Catholic War Veterans of America, which holds a catering club liquor license there. State police have cited the club at least six times since 2005 for liquor code violations. On Dec. 3, 2015, an administrative law judge ordered the sitting officers of the veterans organization to divest themselves of interest in the club and transfer the liquor license to a “legitimate club” within a year. It was not clear early this week if the veterans group had satisfied the judicial mandate.

In unrelated business, the GBCL approved three zoning applications.

Members unanimously approved Bank of America’s plan to change its signs at 9501 Bustleton Ave. The bank will remove one wall-mounted sign and install two new flat-wall signs on a second-floor facade.

Members unanimously approved the expansion of a physical training center for mentally challenged adults at 220 Geiger Road. Flat Iron Supports is a state-licensed adult training facility that operates in Units 104 and 105 of the multi-space commercial property. The center wants to expand into Unit 108.

Members voted 34–1 to allow a podiatrist to establish a new practice at 1900 Grant Ave.

All new medical offices require special zoning approval within City Council’s 10th district due to a zoning overlay enacted by Council. ••