Ohio City is debating whether to allow a new bar in the West 25th Street spot once occupied by Moda, a nightclub that boasted its “unparalled violence” and “wide selection of cocaines.” The neighborhood’s residents, instrumental in shuttering the club last year, will meet on Wednesday to hear the proposal. They're expected to listen patiently before attacking the bar owners with various heavy objects.
The building in question is a few blocks north of the West Side Market. The popular hip-hop club closed last year after neighbors complained about noise and violence. The club’s fate was sealed by the legal troubles of its owner, who was convicted of trafficking cocaine, which sort of explains all the noise and violence. No, I can talk the loudest and fastest about inconsequential matters! No, I can! Let’s fight for no reason! Isn’t cocaine awesome?!
The owners of the now-vacant building are considering leasing the space to the owners of Heaven & Earth, a Flats nightclub displaced by Scot Wolstein’s East Bank redevelopment project. To transfer its liquor license, Heaven & Earth’s owners will probably need the support Councilman Joe Santiago, whose ward includes the old Moda space …
Santiago told Scene last month that he promised to hear from neighbors at Wednesday night’s meeting before deciding whether to support the move. But he sounded willing to back the new venture. “It’s possibly a good fit,” he says. “You have to treat every business with respect.”
But Santiago isn’t the only councilman with a stake in the club’s future. Because Cleveland’s ward boundaries were drawn by a really hammered guy, a different councilman -- Joe Cimperman -- represents many of the club’s neighbors, including residents of the nearby senior-citizen high rise.
Cimperman has experience sparring with nightclubs; he’s tried to shut down both West Sixth’s Spy and the Flats’ Mirage. And he vows to fight the reopening of the old Moda, whether it’s by Heaven & Earth or any other bar. The space, he says, is too big and too close to the senior citizens.
“I don’t care if it’s an Applebee’s,” he tells C-Notes. “A liquor license there causes a disturbance. … These are senior citizens. They have a right to peace.” – Joe P. Tone