VB nightclub owner: “I’m being targeted”

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of a Virginia Beach nightclub is speaking out about safety at his establishment.

Carlos Del Cid owns Fuego’s Lounge on 17th Street. City officials have taken him to court in efforts to ban his liquor license.

“It is very unfair to blame me,” said Del Cid. “I’m being targeted. I’m not sure why I’m being targeted.”

Virginia Beach Police are in the process of trying to shut Fuego’s down. They are in the middle of a court hearing asking a judge to revoke the nightclub’s liquor license. Police call Fuego’s  a threat to the community, because of the violence that sometimes takes place outside the club.

“I feel like everything stared after the Beach Weekend,” said Del Cid. “After Beach Weekend it was like day and night how the reaction of the police department was towards my establishment.”

Last year’s College Beach Weekend brought a spree of violence to the Oceanfront, though officers admit Fuego’s was the least of their problems that weekend.

Since that point, there have been dozens of complaints logged by officers about the nightclub, mostly crimes that happened as customers were leaving.

“Yes we have a couple fights inside, but we break it up and we take them outside,” said Del Cid. “That’s about the only stuff that happened in there. As far as criminal activities that go on inside, I don’t tolerate that.”

Del Cid came to the U.S. with his mother from Guatemala.  He said he had to work his way from nothing to a successful businessman, owning a chain of Mexican restaurants. He said the City’s actions have damaged his reputation.

“The only reason I tried to fight and clear this case is to clear my name,” explained Del Cid. “I don’t want people to talk that I’m involved in criminal activity when I’m not.”

Del Cid said he’d close his doors right away, but wants something from the City in return.

“As long as the City and the police department will admit that I’m not involved in any criminal activities then I will close today,” he said.

“We have never made a statement or offered evidence about Mr. Del Cid personally or his character,” said Virginia Beach Associate City Attorney Ken Falkenstein. “That is not an issue in this case. The issue are the events at an establishment in the City of Virginia Beach.”

Though for Del Cid, the two are linked. He plans to win the ongoing case, and if he doesn’t, he hopes the City will see Fuego’s isn’t the problem.

“I believe if I close my doors tonight the crowd is going to continue down there,” Del  Cid said.

The case against Fuego’s Lounges continues in Virginia Beach Circuit Court Tuesday.

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