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Suspension of Impulse club's liquor license extended

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state Alcohol and Beverage Control Administration has extended the suspension of a troubled downtown Charleston nightclub's liquor license for another 10 days.

Commissioner Ronald Moats extended the suspension order for Impulse nightclub on Capitol Street to allow the investigation to continue, ABCA spokesman Gig Robinson said Thursday.

The extension upholds the suspension from Thursday through Feb. 17. This extension comes Charleston city officials wait to hear back from the bar's owner, Janet Amores, after sending her a letter outlining the city's intent to revoke her conditional use permit.

"We are aware of the city's action and we are working closely with the city on this matter," Robinson said. He would not comment further.

The city informed Amores of its intentions on Jan. 31, informing her she had 10 days from that date to show compelling evidence as to why she should be permitted to remain open.

City Planning Director Dan Vriendt said Thursday that he spoke to Amores the day the letter was sent. He said he hasn't had any contact with her since.  

The ABCA enacted a 10-day suspension, which expired Wednesday, after 18-year-old Kevin Clemens was stabbed multiple times in the abdomen just outside the bar's entrance in the early morning hours of Jan. 27.

Clemens suffered serious injury and was rushed to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital. He has since been released.

Robinson said the ABCA suspended the bar's liquor license the day after the stabbing.

Aris Hairston, 26, of Charleston, turned himself in to Charleston police Friday after detectives identified him as a suspect. Detectives said Hairston was retaliating against Clemens after the teen, a freshman linebacker at the University of Charleston, "shoulder checked" him in side the bar, causing him to spill his drink.

Detectives initially arrested Roland Willis, 22, of Charleston after four witnesses misidentified him as a suspect in the stabbing. The charges against Willis were dropped when detectives found through further investigation that they had arrested the wrong man.

Hairston was charged with three counts of malicious wounding and currently is free on bond.

City officials have been outspoken against the club for some time.

Mayor Danny Jones has called the nightclub a "crime factory" and was not shy about expressing his desire to see it shut down for good.

 "Club Impulse is not a plus to this city, it's a minus," Jones said during a Jan. 31 press conference. "That's our feeling and that's why we're going to move to close it."

He learned of the ABCA's decision Thursday afternoon.  

"We're hoping they won't reopen," he said.

Amores told city officials during the planning and approval process for the club in 2007 that it would be "a really upscale, big-city type nightclub" that would cater to young professionals looking for entertainment and dancing after dinner. Jones said that hasn't been the case.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.



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