New license for Eclipse owner tabled

ALBANY, Ga. -- A fight that escalated into a stabbing and shooting at an Albany club is snarling a local businessman's effort to open a club after commissioners agreed to table consideration of a liquor license for his new place until police wrap up the investigation into the incident at Club Eclipse.

Ramiro Alvarez has petitioned the Albany City Commission for a liquor license for a new night club and lounge he intends to open at 232 W. Broad Ave.

That club, La Mansion, will be just a few doors down from his other club, Eclipse, at 212 W. Broad Ave., where a fight broke out early Sunday morning in which Gino Julio Lopez, 18, was beaten and Alejandro Bustamante, 22, was shot and stabbed.

City Attorney Nathan Davis, who recommended that commissioners consider tabling consideration of the license at the board's pre-briefing Tuesday night, said that police and code enforcement officers are still working through their investigations into the fight and need more time to complete their work before the commission makes a decision.

"Past incidents -- fights, underage drinking and illegal activity -- are all things that typically are compiled into these kind of reports," Davis said. "It looks like the investigative part of the application needs additional time so we asked to table it."

The matter comes as Davis' office is putting together a separate case against the owners of the Applejax Sports Bar & Lounge at 1301 E. Broad Ave.

On March 3, Jerro Toye, 23, and Joshua O'Neal Walls, 22, were found stabbed to death in a grassy area just outside of the club after what police say was a botched armed robbery attempt.

Frank Lowe, 42, was initially questioned as a suspect, but was cleared by a grand jury. Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said that Lowe killed the men in self-defense after they attempted to rob him in the parking area of the club.

Commissioners will consider in April whether to revoke Applejax's liquor license.

Alvarez has a strong business history downtown.

His San Joe's restaurant was once a fixture on Broad Avenue.

Alvarez, who has a San Joe's in Dawson, opened another location last year in Leesburg.