Editorial: Time is up for Mr. Lucky

The Queen Anne neighborhood may soon be getting some relief from a troubled hot spot called Mr. Lucky. Mayor Greg Nickels has formally requested that the state Liquor Control Board suspend or cancel the liquor license at the club, where during the last few years there have been multiple shootings and one death.

The decision is due out early this week.

We commend the mayor for taking action-finally-and the News joins him in calling for the nightclub to be shut down. From a neighborhood perspective, there is ample reason. After all, one of our own residents walking in the area was paralyzed by a stray shot a still-unknown thug fired from the Mr. Lucky parking lot.

That doesn't lessen the importance of the three people shot in the club a couple weeks ago, the bartender who was shot in the leg and the man who was beaten to death with a sign pole.

But all that violence took place in the span of less than three years, and that fact alone makes it abundantly and horribly clear the bar should be closed.

Both the Seattle Police Department and the City Attorney's Office have expressed deep concerns about Mr. Lucky. So has Jeanne Kohl-Welles, a state senator from Queen Anne. That's as it should be, but the city and the Liquor Control Board have been hamstrung by legal restrictions that make yanking a liquor license extremely difficult to do.

The big problem, the police and attorneys say, is that the mayhem takes place outside of the club, meaning club owner Kyriakos Kyrkos can't be held responsible because he doesn't control what happens on other people's property. The argument doesn't wash.

The thugs involved are all hanging around his club, usually at closing when liquor no doubt plays a major role. They wouldn't be in the neighborhood if Kyrkos' club hadn't drawn them here, so it stands to reason he deserves at least partial blame for their actions.

Beyond that, the latest people shot at the club were standing in a crowded hallway inside the club, and the bouncer was shot in the leg on a stretch of parking lot leased by Kyrkos.

Kyrkos is all very sorry for what's happened at the club across the street from KeyArena, according to a letter he posted on his front door shortly after the latest shooting. He blames just a few bad apples for spoiling the club for everyone, and KK, as he's known, has vowed to stop staging hip-hop shows on Friday nights. He should have done that two years ago when one of his patrons was killed on a hip-hop night.

The News is fully aware of the politically and racially charged issue of hip-hop music, which often glamorizes thug violence. But the city and other club owners note that other venues play hip-hop music in Seattle without any problems. So that argument doesn't wash, either.

The bottom line is the way Mr. Lucky has been run, and while Kyrkos has made big bucks from the huge hip-hop clubs he's run over the years, his property rights should end where neighborhood rights to safe surroundings begins. Mr. Lucky has lost its right to be part of the community. We hope the Liquor Board agrees this week.[[In-content Ad]]