DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Homicides, aggravated assaults, and even rape have all been connected to a Dallas bar on Greenville Avenue that the city has been trying to shut down.
Now the owner has agreed to close, bringing a sigh of relief to several surrounding business owners and residents who have filed numerous complaints.
The owner of OT Tavern said he wants to leave quietly and declined an interview about why he is closing for good after this coming Monday night.
But he’s facing a nuisance lawsuit from the city, filed before a string of violent incidents that have happened as recently as last month.
Cooper Smith lives and works close to The OT Tavern, which has operated at the corner of Greenville and Martel Avenue for 16 years.
The 29-year-old supports the bar despite being a witness to the violence surrounding it.
“One of the times there was a shooting, and I was just across the street walking the dog,” Smith recalled.
In March, the bar drew unwanted attention when Dallas police said a confrontation inside led to the death of Cameron Ray, who was shot and killed outside from.
Another shooting last month added to the list of crimes, which includes sexual and aggravated assaults.
The owner said he has agreed to close permanently after the July 4th holiday, but off camera accuses the city of bullying him.
A lawsuit filed by the city two weeks ago calls the bar a serious danger to the neighborhood.
But frequent patrons of The OT Tavern say they enjoy the theme nights that draw big crowds, including an SMU Night during the week. “It’s a great spot. We’ve been going since we were 21 years old. We’re sad to see you go,” said patron Griffin Perotti.
Nearby homeowners said off camera that trash and parking in front of their homes is out of control despite the bar’s popularity with young people.
“It’s just got a good little vibe to it. We kind of come here with our buddies every time we come back in town,” said John Jones.
“It’s really unfortunate to be honest. People inside can’t control what goes on outside of the parking lot. As far as confrontations, they do their best, but sometimes things happen,” Smith reflected.
The neighborhood has its sights on a club next door as the next target to go, but it’s planning to remain open for the foreseeable future.
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