The jury’s still out…
It remains to be seen whether controversial black dance club America’s Pub will be allowed to remain in Westport when its lease is up at year’s end. Many Westporters are convinced it’s a magnet for violent crime and the summer weekend night floods of African American youths who fill the streets and surrounding parking lots.
The Brian Euston killing last year, for example, went down in an altercation just outside America’s Pub.
To that end, they’ve initiated a campaign to close America’s Pub down, says its attorney Harris Wilder.
"What happened was some people in Westport were trying to get rid of America’s Pub and they demanded an investigation by Regulated Industries (liquor control) and we had no problem with that," Wilder says. "And when they conducted the investigation, Regulated Industries said, ‘You guys are running a good shop.’
"In approximately 1,500 incident reports, there was only one real police involvement and that was a year ago. And (Regulated Industries head) Gary Majors said to the ownership of America’ Pub, ‘Frankly, you guys deserve a medal for the way you have handled the situation.’ But this is a weird town, Hearne."
And at times, a small minded one…
"On one level it’s just pure jealousy," Wilder says. "Some people are unhappy that America’s Pub is making more money than they are. And America’s Pub is making more money than anybody in Westport. I’m not singling anybody out, but the bottom line is they run a very good operation."
As for Westport’s crowds of late night youth situation, "No one has solved that problem," Wilder says. "But the problem’s not inside America’s Pub. The problem is outside in the street in Westport."