‘I am heartbroken’: Owner of Third Ward nightclub where 5 men were shot responds to city lawsuit

HOUSTON –The owner of the popular Third Ward nightclub where five people were injured following a shooting last week has responded to the lawsuit filed by the City of Houston.

Nightclub owner Eric Spivey was surrounded by several people from the community at the afternoon press conference.

Along with Spivey, several people spoke about what the club means to the community and how it has become a fixture in the neighborhood.

“Spitey is a special breed. He didn’t just invest in a club, he invested in this community. He invested in this city and he invested outside of this state. He has invested in more than the fun of the nightlife, but he has invested in our children and the elderly,” said a community member.

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On Thursday, February 17, police were called to Spivey’s Famous Bistro located at 3000 Blodgett Street in response to a shooting.

Investigators said a fight broke out inside the club 10 minutes before the shooting. A club bouncer and four other people were shot dead.

Days after the shooting, Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the City of Houston had filed a common nuisance lawsuit under Chapter 125 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code seeking a temporary and permanent injunction against the owners of Spivey’s Bar. and Lounge located at 3000 Blodgett St., the owner of the property and the property itself.

The lawsuit was filed after Turner joined the MacGregor Super Neighborhood and Riverside Civic Association as they expressed concern over increased crime in their community.

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The lawsuit alleges that Spivey’s and the owner allow aggravated assault and shootings to habitually occur on the premises and fail to take reasonable steps to curtail such criminal activity. The lawsuit is part of Mayor Turner’s commitment to fighting crime and protecting neighborhoods, as outlined in his A Safe Houston plan.

“The City will be aggressive in telling irresponsible businesses and others that they have a responsibility to make sure they protect their customers and neighbors,” Mayor Turner said. “We will take all necessary measures to shut down unsafe businesses.”

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In response to the lawsuit, nightclub owner Eric Spivey hired a lawyer to defend the club against the request for a temporary and permanent injunction.

“Eric Spivey is not only a Houston success story, but he’s also an American success story! He dedicated his life to his community and that must be taken into consideration here. He was never arrested and he was never given anything. Everything Mr. Spivey has, he has earned to the extent that he has built a successful business in the same community to which he has dedicated his life,” Spivey’s attorney, attorney Durrell Holt, told about his client.

Spivey’s Uptown released the following public statement regarding the incident:

“Spveys Uptown’s Top Priorities [are] promote and maintain the safety and security of our employees and customers. We are truly dedicated to this [community and business] and will make every effort to ensure that we maintain the safest possible environment in or around our facility. We will reinforce our police presence and our security team inside and outside our establishment. You are all our guests and we want your experience here to be positive and joyful. [People of Houston and Third Ward] Please know that you are appreciated and without your continued support and love we could not be. Know that the [February 18, 2022′s] the incident was not at all indicative of who we are and what we stand for. We would like to thank our staff and security team for doing everything in their power to prevent this incident from happening. Unfortunately, the unexpected happened outside our establishment. This incident touched us in a way that left us in shock and disbelief. We are not advocating this (emphasis added). Spivey’s was installed in our community to not only provide a positive venue for entertainment and enjoyment, but also to give back. We’re proud to offer free food, clothing, shoes, and back-to-school orders for a community. We also provide a place where entrepreneurs can come on weekends to promote and sell their items and services. We are here to provide safety and promote positive change within our community. Please stay with us as we recover from this unfortunate event.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement