The lights are kept dim inside “Magic City,” a downtown strip club located on 23rd and St.Clair, on purpose. If the patrons of this seedy establishment could actually see how truly butt-ugly the dancers — who were twerking as if their lives depended on it the night I was there — actually were, they’d be running for the exits in horror. The place would have been out of business years ago.
I took my life into my own hands and went into the club about a year ago because a Cleveland police officer had been shot a few nights prior during an hours-long SWAT standoff with two armed men who refused to exit their vehicle, which was parked right outside the club. It was a good bet they were high on something they either purchased at the club or ingested before going into the establishment. Whatever it was, it got both of them shot, one of them in the head. It apparently was yet another case of young men watching too many Scarface-type movies.
But since the club is in the ward I reside in, I was curious as to what kind of patrons it attracted, and it didn’t take me but a minute to find out. The euphemism “Gentleman’s Club” didn’t apply to this dump — this was rock bottom, a place no self-respecting “gentleman” would allow himself to be found dead in.
Nonetheless, Magic City is recently back in the news due to a shootout at the club on Monday night. Two men were wounded and of course the owners of the establishment will stoutly maintain that the gunplay had nothing to do with the club, as if some dudes just decided to meet up on 23rd and St.Clair and begin firing at each other. No, this club attracts a certain kind of clientele, the kind that creates trouble wherever they go.
To say the club is a nuisance is a vast understatement. It should have been closed last year, and now, with a new sheriff in the ward (in the person of our new councilman), it’s likely that the dive’s days are numbered.
There are a number of ways to close a liquor establishment that has a bad reputation, and all of them are being explored at present. And it’s a sure bet that one of them is guaranteed to work. If the owner was smart, he would close the establishment without forcing a fight. But since I don’t know the owner I have no idea as to how smart or dumb he is or isn’t. But what I do know is that his days of operating a noxious business in Ward 7 are numbered. We no longer play that shit.
From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.com