Belton City Manager Joe Warren on Thursday denied an appeal filed by Excentic Sports & Music Lounge, 1511 N. Scott Ave., following the revocation of its business license in February.
The denial followed an administrative hearing conducted on Tuesday with the club’s owner, Sonsie Brown.
In a letter to Brown, Warren told Brown that he agreed with the city’s license officer that the conduct of the club was “so detrimental to the public health, safety and general welfare as to constitute a public nuisance and require immediate revocation” of the business’ license to operate in the city.
Warren said reasons for the revocation, and eventual affirmation of the decision included, but were not limited to, “the failure to provide adequate security, allowing individuals to consume marijuana in a public place, and the altercation and shooting that occurred between individuals associated with an event co-sponsored and hosted by the owner of Excentric at or near residential areas and heavily traveled public ways.”
The club has until April 13 to request an appeal before the City Council. Following receipt of such an appeal, the council will set a time and location for a public hearing on the matter. The decision on such an appeal would be “final and conclusive,” according to city code.
Excentric was first issued a business license to operate in the location as a venue for “live music, open mic nights, line dancing, watching sports and talent showcasing,” according to the original revocation letter sent to Bell on Feb. 15.
The letter listed several issues that led to the decision.
On Nov. 3, 2022, city staff was made aware that Excentric was advertising a “body painting event” for the following week. When staff questioned club ownership about the event, as it was potentially a violation of City Code, the letter said ownership described the upcoming event as “body painting with models where there are live models in body paint and people get paint (sic) on easels with poetry . . . its (sic) models and clothes and jewelry getting painted and other people painting them on easels.”
Ownership continued to say there were “no anatomical parts being exposed.”
However, city staff alleged, advertisements promoting the event contradicted that statement as the body paint illustrated failed to “opaquely or fully cover human genitals or the nipple of the female breast.”
“Moreover, over the next two months, staff received multiple verbal reports indicating a ‘back room for a good time,’ topless women, and witnessed masturbation. These reports, the features included in your business (e.g., the ‘back room’ and various, nonstructural poles that are both permanent and removable), and advertisements for your business activities over the course of the last three months would indicated you are operating as a defined ‘Adult Business’ and/or ‘Adult Entertainment Business’ as defined by City Code and UDC (Unified Development Code).”
The business also advertised for a “420 Smokeout” on Feb. 11, where “safe consumption” and a “420 Blower” were to be featured. City Code prohibits smoking marijuana in enclosed public spaces.
At 11:10 p.m. that night, Belton Police were called to the business regarding gunshots coming from in and around the business. Officers found more than 40 shell casings and two vehicles with bullet holes following the incident, where it was alleged one group of individuals got into an argument with another group and were chased outside by two armed individuals, who directed gunfire at the fleeing group.