A popular Akron nightclub is reportedly closing its doors, forcing the nearby Eddies Famous Cheesesteaks and Grille to leave as well.
The Zar Nightclub on South Main St. closed its doors for the last time Friday night, according to a Facebook post from Ed Sutter, owner of the neighboring Eddies Famous Cheesesteaks. Sutter added that Eddies will be shutting down too after business Tuesday "as a result of the effects of the circumstances beyond [their] control."
Sutter tells WKYC that the business operates its food license through Zar, meaning if the club closes, Eddies would have to leave as well.
The property owners informed the city of Akron that the Zar Nightclub operators were asked to leave based on "non-payment of rent and other breaches of the lease agreement," acccording to Ellen Lander Nischt, press secretary for the city of Akron.
Mayor Dan Horrigan released the following the statement:
“We work every day to ensure that all of our neighborhoods, including Downtown, are safe and attractive for residents, workers, and visitors. As we continue our planning process, in cooperation with the Downtown Akron Partnership, to develop the Downtown Vision and Redevelopment Plan, we look forward to building upon Downtown’s record as a safe, clean, and engaging center of business, arts, culture and entertainment. Downtown will undergo a significant rebirth in the next few years—with the TIGER-funded renovation of King James Way and catalytic mixed use projects—and we look forward to supporting new economic development across the Downtown footprint. Responsible nightlife is one aspect of a thriving urban core, and we are committed to working closely with our Downtown property owners and businesses to secure a shared commitment to safety and vibrancy. Downtown Akron is safe, and we will do everything needed to keep it that way.”
"This summer has been tough," Sutter added. "We took a hit. It wasn't planned. There are opportunities but it's not always that simple. We'll exhaust all efforts."
When WKYC arrived on scene, several people were found moving items from the club into a U-Haul truck parked directly in front of the club's doors and immediately left the area.
The area has been in the spotlight recently, following a number of crime-related incidents including a Oct. 1 police-involved shooting outside the club. Two men were shot by police after allegedly threatening patrons and officers with a gun. Both suffered serious injuries, but survived.
At the time, other local business owners had complained to WKYC about the problems at Zar.
"The people just don't care," Tear-Ez bartender Charles Bartlett said. "There's police standing there and they will start a fight right next to the police officer like they don't even care."