ELYRIA — The city successfully lobbied to have the Ohio Division of Liquor Control strip liquor licenses away from the operators of the Toy Box Night Club and now it wants to declare the East Broad Street location a nuisance to the city in an effort to keep it shuttered for at least a year.
This comes after police officers raided the club last week because it was open supposedly operating as a private club and selling alcohol to patrons despite not having the state-issued liquor permit. The new developments mean city Law Director Scott Serazin will take legal action against the operator of the Toy Box, David Caver, and the owner of the building to have the establishment declared a nuisance by a judge.
The city originally planned to take that step in 2011 when the state decided not to renew the club’s liquor license after a hard-fought battle by the city. However, Caver, at that time, said the defeat was a sign for him to not appeal the decision, but close up shop and leave downtown for good.
“When they closed down, we stopped,” Serazin said. “That was the goal we were aiming at so it seemed it was achieved. But just like we did with Uncle Vic’s Night Club and Kush, we will try to get the place boarded up.”
Serazin will have to go through the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas to have the injunction against the club issued just as it did with Uncle Vic’s, the downtown nightclub that had a number of liquor violations and was seen as a haven for violent behavior prior to the city getting it shut down.
“This way no one can open up anything in there,” Serazin said. “Someone else could walk in tomorrow and say they are a private club.”
Acting on a tip the club was open late and sporadically to throw off police, an undercover officer went to the club shortly after 12:30 a.m. Friday and bought liquor, Capt. Chris Costantino said. It gave officers the ammunition they needed to serve a search warrant later.
Officers cited Caver for owning a business that served liquor without a license. In all, police cited seven people at the club on a range of charges, including sale of liquor without a license, obstruction of official business and possession of marijuana.