DeKalb nightclub must close; owners plan to appeal

A nightclub that has rocked neighborhoods in north DeKalb County for two years has been told that the party is over.

County CEO Burrell Ellis revoked the certificate of occupancy for Pure, a controversial disco in a strip mall on Clairmont Road near I-85, county spokeswoman Shelia Edwards said Thursday.

The decision comes a month after Pure lost a lawsuit against a couple of neighborhoods and the Zoning Board of Appeals, a county entity that issues judgments on development issues. The zoning board ruled against the nightclub in 2007 after a zoning dispute brought by the residents who said Pure didn’t belong in their neighborhood.

Pure’s arrival in DeKalb coincided with the flight of other nightclubs from Buckhead after Atlanta cracked down on its rowdy party scene. Neighbors in DeKalb were soon riled by the new establishments, complaining of loud music and drunken patrons breaking beer bottles on their streets. A raucous political dispute ensued, with residents pushing for earlier bar hours, and bar owners and employees defending their businesses.

Meanwhile, Pure was fighting for its survival over a technical hitch. It was only allowed to open in the shopping mall because it claimed to be operating as a restaurant. Residents said that was a ruse, and the zoning board agreed. Pure then sued the board and the residents.

DeKalb Superior Court Judge Linda Warren Hunter ruled against the nightclub last month, and the deadline to appeal passed this week, which prompted Ellis to shut down the club.

“We are pleased he acted to close the club,” said Don Broussard, one of the residents named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Broussard said the neighborhoods raised $19,000 to defend against the suit. Alan Begner, an attorney for Pure, said the fight isn’t over. He said he never received notice of the judge’s ruling and vowed to file a motion to re-date her order so that he can file an appeal.

But county commissioner Jeff Rader, who represents the area, said it looks like the party will end. “Judge Hunter’s ruling was a fairly clear one,” he said, “so we think the chance that they could ultimately win on appeal is remote.”