Midtown bar closed by law enforcement allowed to reopen

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - A Midtown bar closed by law enforcement is opening back up.

Printers Alley, labeled by police as a "hotbed of crime," can serve customers again under certain conditions.

The Shelby County District Attorney's Office shut it down in September after police were called to the bar, on Cleveland near Union, at least 61 times from 2015 to 2018.

They were called for crimes like assault and drug dealing and it went on at all hours of the day and night.

Jerry Moore works at a family owned restaurant next door. He says things got so bad customers stopped coming.

"They didn't want to come here. They was scared you know what I mean?" Moore says.

Police say undercover officers bought drugs from Printers Alley employees who continually sold alcohol even though the bar didn't have a liquor license. Investigators say customers used code words like "cinnamon" and "gravy" to get shots served in condiment bottles.

The bar is reopening under strict conditions ordered by the DA's Office. They include adding security cameras, hiring a full time security guard and only being open from 7 pm to 3:15 am. The bar also has to keep the sidewalk clean and can't let customers hang out outside after closing.

WREG got in touch with the owner's wife today, who told us her husband wasn't available for comment.

Moore worries things will turn ugly again.

"This is my job. This is how I make my living you know what I mean? I can't make a living if I don't have no customers you know what I mean?" Moore says.

One of his faithful customers is State Representative GA Hardaway, who hopes Printers Alley turns things around.

"Do what you do. Make your money but don't interfere with the other businesses’ ability to make their money," he says.

No word on when exactly the bar will reopen.

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