By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer
A local entertainment club is relocating its music events to the Lyceum Theatre on Main Street after its previous establishment was closed down by the city of Clovis for operating without a business license.
The city closed down a warehouse known as The Hole at 1505 Mabry Dr. on May 12.
The Hole’s event promoter, Jon LeBlanc, said he was not aware the music hall was in violation of any city codes.
“I really believe we were doing something good for music, art and the community,” LeBlanc said. “Sad thing is, I didn’t know we were doing anything wrong.”
LeBlanc and colleagues rented the Mabry Street building to host entertainment events featuring regional bands, usually during the weekend. There was a minimal cover charge.
LeBlanc said the venue gave teenagers and adults alike the chance to attend musical events free of drugs and alcohol.
Director of Building Safety Pete Wilt said proper permits and precautions are required of all businesses within the city limits.
“There is a form a person has to fill out throughout the City in order to receive a business license,” he said. “(The Hole) needs a dance hall permit with proper inspections in order to run their business.”
The $250 permit would require approval from several departments such as zoning, building inspection, public works, and the fire and police departments.
City Ordinance No. 1172-81 “requires all businesses apply for and obtain a business registration prior to engaging in business.”
LeBlanc said he felt there was more behind the city closing their doors than just acquiring permits. Wilt said closing the establishment was a matter of code compliance.
The warehouse would need two accessible exits to comply with fire codes, along with the proper license to operate the kind of events The Hole was booking, according to Wilt.
“They also did not have proper access to bathroom facilities,” said Wilt. “(LeBlanc) needs to fill out the application and contact a contractor to access the building. Things that are not in compliance would need to be corrected before (The Hole) could open its doors as a commercial business.”
LeBlanc said organizers were looking into becoming a nonprofit organization and other alternatives.