Nightclub that Arlington Neighbors Blame for Area Crime to Reopen as Sports Bar | Business

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Nightclub that Arlington Neighbors Blame for Area Crime to Reopen as Sports Bar
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --  A Jacksonville nightclub in an Arlington neighborhood where a teen was shot to death in September is under new ownership. 

Horace James Jr., 14, was shot and killed last month outside Club Menage, which had just hosted a teen party.

It now will reopen as a sports bar but neighbors are waiting to see if old problems continue under a new name.

Sybil Holland is concerned has been concerned about the intersection near Menage not far from her home that disrupts the quiet of her neighborhood. "This is a nice neighborhood but it's scary," said Holland.

She's tired of crime at the corner of Arlington Road and University Boulevard and blames Club Menage for the majority of it. "The club needs to be closed and it needs to be closed completely," said Holland.

She is collecting signatures on a petition in hopes of shutting it down. "If they get that place shut down, a lot of the crime would be gone off of Arlington Road."

New flyers in front of Club Menage reflect the change. "It's been a dream of ours to own a bar or lounge," said James Henning Sr.

There's no need for petitions, said Henning and Tara Cregg, the new owners of the property who said they'll have a new way of doing business.

"Well it's no longer Club Menage," said Henning,  "It's actually The Bar. It's no longer a nightclub; it's a sports bar."

Henning said there will be no more rap concerts and teen parties.  It will cater to a more mature crowd with things like karaoke, pool and sports. "The way things were before is not the way it's going to be from here on out," said Henning.

Some neighbors take that news with guarded optimism. "If it's going to continue, I hope it's turned around for the better," said John Wilson.

But Holland isn't buying it. "That's what they always say.  But I bet you, when they re-open it, something else is going to happen."

So she plans to keep collecting signatures in hopes of keeping crime from creeping closer to home. "It's just sad to know that it's an accident waiting to happen," said Holland.

"The Bar" is scheduled to open Monday and operate between noon and 2 a.m.  Owners said they've spoken with some neighbors and urge them to contact them with any concerns.

So far, police have not announced any arrests in the Horace James Jr. murder case.

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