Fuego’s Lounge temporarily loses liquor license

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach Judge A. Bonwill Shockley granted a temporary injunction against Fuego’s Lounge on Tuesday. For now, the nightclub can no longer serve alcohol.

“I think it was a fair decision first and foremost,” Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera said. “There is nothing personal from the police department.”

Cervera took the stand and told the judge Fuego’s Lounge on 17th Street is a threat not only to the community, but also to his officers. He says whenever the club is open, he brings in three or four off-duty officers to work the area surrounding the nightclub.

“If you take the immediate area as well as the area going to and from parking lots, there are more violent situations than anywhere else in the city,” Cervera added.

The violence was the big issue in the case. Testimony revealed there were stabbings, shootings and fights outside of Fuego’s, but defense attorney Mike Joynes argued most of those crimes happened blocks away. He wanted to know why owner Carlos Del Cid is responsible for the violence just because the offenders may have previously been at his club.

“This is the first battle in one of these cases,” Joynes said. “The real battle is at ABC. We fully anticipate we are going to win.”

10 On Your Side spoke with Del Cid Friday about his club. He even showed us inside. The thing that upset him the most was feeling as if he was being painted as a law breaker.

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

The case will now go before the ABC Board who will have the final say on whether Fuego’s is allowed to serve alcohol or if it will lose its license for good.

“It’s unfortunate that it came to this,” Virginia Beach Associate City Attorney Ken Falkenstein said. “We tried very hard to work with establishments and in most case we are successful.”

Part of the judge’s ruling on Tuesday is that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board must hear the case within 45 days.

“This needs to be heard at ABC, which is the real trier of the facts when it comes to an ABC license. Not this,” Joynes added.

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