Club Owner Fights Suspension

Seattle nightclub owner Larry Culp has filed a lawsuit against the State Liquor Board for pulling his license over alleged criminal activity near the venue.

Culp, who owns Larry’s Nightclub with his brother, filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court because agents served him with a suspension January 6th then proceeded to keep customers out of the building while they confiscated liquor, according to The Seattle Times.

Culp told the paper the allegations of criminal activity near the club have been blown out of proportion.

“This is racially motivated and we’re going to fight back,” he said, referring to the venue’s hip-hop playlist and ethnically mixed crowd.

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels reportedly wrote a letter to the state board requesting the club’s license be suspended due to the number of times police have been called to Larry’s.

“The main issue for the mayor in this case was stopping what clearly had become a pattern of violence at this club,” Nickels spokesman Marty McOmber told the Times. “We’ve heard concerns from residents, businesses and other club owners. There was really no doubt in anyone’s mind that this place had become a public safety hazard.”

Problems referred to included an October 17th incident when Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin was attacked and injured during a fight outside of Larry’s, and when two soldiers were beaten while standing in line in July.

The coup de grace came on December 31st when one man claimed he was stabbed during a fight inside the venue. Venue operators do not dispute there was a fight that night that lasted about two minutes before bouncers broke it up, but they said the stabbing took place afterward outside.

They claim the city is singling the club out because of the Hamlin incident.

David Osgood, an attorney representing the Culp brothers, was quoted in the paper as saying that “incidents at Larry’s” really means “any incident within two blocks of Larry’s that involves black people.”

“The man who claimed he was stabbed was dragged, screaming, swearing, and fighting from the club. He wanted to get in and keep fighting,” the attorney said.

A court commissioner denied a request for an injunction that would have restored the club’s liquor license during a January 10th hearing.

Meanwhile, the Culp brothers told the paper they planned to stay open for after-hours business but would not serve alcohol in compliance with the suspension.

A call to Larry Culp was not returned at press time.