DENVER — The owner of a Denver nightclub has been ordered to appear before the city's Department of Excise and Licensing following undercover police investigations and information from off-duty officers that's revealed safety violations.
According to court documents, Hassam Kayali, the owner of Beta Nightclub located at 1909 Blake Street, will have to be appear for the Oct. 18 hearing to prove why the club's liquor and cabaret licenses shouldn't be revoked.
"I have friends that work over here that definitely are afraid sometimes to like even go outside after their shifts because you never know what's gonna happen. Where there's a stray bullet, fight that you get involved in, and you never know what could happen to you," said a man who works at a different establishment on Blake Street.
For fear of retaliation, the employee agreed to speak to Denver7 on the condition his name, face and specific business of employment not be shared. He reiterated that incidents at the nightclub have left other employees scared and have hampered business along Blake Street.
"This block has definitely started getting a new reputation, which is not good for other business owners around here because it does hurt our business," he said. "We've noticed a significant decline in sales on this block compared to other blocks and other bars and, you know, it's a scary time to be down in this area."
The October hearing will follow a series of incidents.
In May, someone was found shot thirty feet from the entrance. The following month, the City of Denver said cocaine was sold to undercover police.
Court documents also alleged an undercover officer was able to get inside with a gun tucked in the back of waistband. Allegations of fights between rival gang members are also listed in the documents.
The attorney for Beta Nightclub's owner provided Denver7 with the following statement,
Considering the pending action, Beta is electing to not appear on camera to discuss this matter and issue the following written statement:
Beta Nightclub is awaiting supporting documentation from the City to fully evaluate the allegations being made. Notwithstanding, the City’s allegations falsely and unfairly characterize the Beta Nightclub and its patrons.
Beta dedicates significant resources in employing security to ensure a safe atmosphere. The recent termination of the security services contract by the Denver Police Department, will only serve to create additional challenges to the club’s operations. Beta has attempted to contact the Denver Police Department in an effort to work collaboratively to discuss strategies and solutions to address their concerns, but the invitations have gone unanswered.
Beta intends to defend the allegations through the administrative process and welcomes future opportunities to work with the City and the lower downtown community to improve the Denver nightlife experience.
Denver Police told Denver7 the ongoing casework made it inappropriate for them to comment.