CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The latest officer-involved shooting in Charlotte was last Friday at the Epicentre in Uptown. One man died after an argument turned into gunfire and an officer fired his gun.
Because of that, the way you spend your time at the Epicentre may be changing.
Various reports are out now of property managers trying to rebrand this party place in uptown from bars and nightlife to retail and business.
Police are constantly called there. The officer-involved shooting isn’t the first time crime tape was wrapped around the Epicentre. WBTV has reported on other shootings, stabbings and fights. In fact, CMPD has had 22 calls here in just the last month. Most were for assault, theft, and vandalism. All those calls could be why what’s there could eventually be change.
The Epicentre is considered a staple for food and fun.
“I like Moe’s because they do have the best tacos,” said Ariel Peake, who enjoys the Epicentre.
It’s also the place some people in Charlotte want to take friends and family when they fly into town.
“It’s the attraction for the city. A nice, neat, cool place to hang out,” said Claudette Mights, who visits the Epicentre regularly.
“It’s going to be a very horrible strategy because this is all about wining and dining and honestly you can’t get good business in retail,” said Peake.
“I don’t want it to go, I absolutely want it to stay,” said Mights.
Despite reps for the Epicentre not talking, city leaders are.
“I think there could be change as a result of commercial reality,” said Charlotte councilman Ed Driggs.
Driggs says no one from the Epicentre has sent the city a formal notice to change the types of business that sit there now, but he also says he thinks the current Epicentre is a draw for people and different businesses could also help cut down on crime.
“You see a certain chemistry that could be conducive to violence,” Driggs mentioned.
Those who are considered “regulars” at the Epicentre say change could be good, but not at the cost of Taco Tuesdays.
“The only thing I can say is get better security and get more security that can help out with all of this going on and all of this commotion,” Peake said.
If bars move out. The next question would be, “Where would they go?”
Councilman Driggs says there’s plenty of space in Charlotte, and these type of business situations always are worked out.
Several days after this story aired, Epicentre officials released a statement about the possible changes:
“Epicentre is a vital part of the Uptown community and is an involved stakeholder along with other Uptown businesses and property owners who participate with CMPD, Charlotte Center City Partners, civic leaders, and government agencies in ongoing efforts to foster a safe and welcoming environment throughout all of Uptown Charlotte. Epicentre is a destination for the community that offers a mix of restaurants and bars, entertainment, service providers, and office space. Management has and will continue to honor the terms of lease agreements with Epicentre’s tenants.”