Restaurant Closed As Nuisance Is Back In Business

(Memphis) Outside, they are sprucing up.

Inside, owners cut the ribbon for a grand re-opening.

Blu Restaurant and Bar on Hacks Cross Road is back.

“Once our public perception is that we have been labeled a certain thing, we had to come with a new approach,” says Blu’s owner John Edwards.

Last Tuesday, the District Attorney and Shelby County Sheriff’s Department pulled the plug on Blu.

The restaurant was raided, customers were searched, and the business was closed.

Police say they were called to Blu 74 times in 15 months for everything from reports of robbery, assaults and drug deals.

“There were allegations a disc jockey, bathroom attendant and security officer were selling drugs inside or around the club,” says Assistant D.A. Paul Hagerman.

Blu owners, who say they didn’t know crime was happening and got to work to find out what they needed to re-open.

They  terminated and banned those people slapped with drug charges, brought in new security and paid a $1,000 fine.

Owners say there were never any drugs sold on the premises and they didn’t know what customers were doing.

The restaurant was allowed to reopen Friday.

“I’m excited. I can come back again. I am excited,” says one customer.

The office of the District Attorney says not all businesses make a comeback.

Some are given several chances, like Club Crave, which ended up closing for good.

“Certainly when the owners come in and admit they have a problem and are willing to take the steps, we will listen to them, sit down with them and give them a fair shot,”says Hagerman.

Blu’s late night operations won’t reopen until April 12, 2013.

Owners will have to meet regularly with the D.A..’s office to give an update on operations and must work closely with the sheriff’s department on any further public nuisance issues.

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