Madison alder calls for Visions nightclub to be shut down

MADISON (WKOW) — After a shooting early Sunday morning, Visions nightclub in Madison is in danger of having its liquor license revoked.

“There have been 12 calls, police calls, there for disturbances, battery, and serious incidents,” said District 15 Alder David Ahrens.

Mounting concerns about crime in one neighborhood on Madison’s east side, all connected to the nightclub on East Washington Avenue.

“There’s a long history with Visions,” Ahrens said. “People say, well four people shot. They were all released from the hospital. If the person had been a better gunman, we could have had four people dead there.”

Ahrens met with the city attorney Tuesday to discuss immediate measures to provide a higher level of security.

“There’s very little parking there. And people just park in the area. They’re drunk. So late at night, there’s many incidents of drunks leaving there and wandering around the neighborhood, being sick and knocking on doors,” Ahrens said.

Ahrens is disappointed the club’s license wasn’t flagged during the last review period.

“Because they’ve had so many police calls there and so many arrests from that place.”

“The bottom line is this is an establishment that has no social benefit. It’s not like it’s a neighborhood bar. It’s a bar for people who are looking to get really drunk or looking for trouble,” Ahrens said.

27 News went to Visions nightclub Monday night for a comment. A man who identified himself as a partner of the owner said he wasn’t willing to talk with us. We also called the club Tuesday hoping to reach the owners or business partners. The man who answered the phone said they weren’t at the club and abruptly hung up.

At least one business near the nightclub is taking extra precautions after Sunday’s shooting.

Representatives at Kwik Trip say the East Washington Avenue store, that’s usually open 24 hours, will begin closing at 10 p.m. for the next two weeks. After that, the store will close at midnight.

Public relations director John McHugh says a pattern of violent behavior in the neighborhood is the reason for the decision.

“If that were my son or daughter working at that store, I wouldn’t want them in that type of environment. So that’s why we made the decision to close. And obviously it’s going to impact our profitability. We’ll make less money at that store and we won’t sell as much. But that’s secondary to our code for safety,” McHugh said.

McHugh says they generally won’t adjust hours for a single incident. It must be a pattern of unsafe situations before they make a change of action.

More on this story at WKOW 27 News

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