Bar violence spoils fun for all

The Charlotte nightlife scene seemed to have quite the shake-up last week with multiple fights breaking out at area bars, including two shootings.

But Capt. Jeff Estes, commander of CMPD's central division, assured me that the violence isn't part of an increasing trend uptown.

For those of you who missed the coverage: A fight broke out among patrons at Grand Central in the early morning hours of May 29. As the fight was being dispersed, someone fired a gun into the air. No one was injured. More fights broke out early last Friday at Alley Cat, reportedly between patrons and bouncers. Then on Sunday, a man fired a gun outside NV Lounge in Cornelius, injuring one person.

Estes said TV coverage is to blame for the increased attention on normal crime activity in the nightlife industry.

“Actually, aggravated assaults are down 23 percent in the center city (year to date). Considering we have more alcohol-serving establishments operating than last year and we are trending downwards for the year, it is actually ironic that we are receiving coverage about the number of them,” he wrote in an e-mail this week.

Estes said fisticuffs are to be expected any time you mix alcohol and a certain sense of bravado.

In other words, boys will be boys. A note to the troublemakers: We all go out to have a good time. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.

Estes said CMPD is “very proactive in our enforcement efforts and (we) are plugged into the management of the bars and clubs in the center city. … We attribute our decline in aggravated assaults to those efforts.”

Sunset shut till June 28

The Sunset Club in South End will be closed for renovations starting Saturday, according to a letter sent to club members. The club is scheduled to reopen June 28.