by BRIAN NADIG
At the direction of Chicago Police Department Superintendent David Brown, the Vera Lounge at 3235 N. Central Ave. closed near the Portage Park bar following last weekend’s deadly shooting.
This type of closure is not uncommon when a violent crime is linked to a facility, and the closure may only be temporary to allow for a “cooling off period” while the incident is further investigated, the 16th Precinct Commander said ( Jefferson Park), Heather Daniel.
The facility can appeal the closure, and sometimes closed businesses work with city officials on a mitigation plan to prevent further problems.
In addition, the city’s Department of Economy and Consumer Protection issued the following statement:
“Since 2022, (BACP) has received two complaints regarding the facility. Since August 7, BACP has issued one notice of correction and three administrative notices of violations/citations to the facility for operating without a public entertainment license, failure to display the license, and failure to provide a current certificate of liability insurance .”
PPA licenses are for businesses that provide entertainment. Vera’s Lounge hosts a variety of DJ shows and other events, according to their Facebook page.
Vera Lounge has a food retail license and on-premises consumption with an incidental liquor license, the department said.
Early Sunday, two men and a woman were fatally shot near the lounge by a man who had reportedly been asked to leave the establishment, which was hosting a birthday party for a woman who Chicago police said was seriously injured in the shooting had been injured. Her 50-year-old father was one of the three people fatally shot, police said.
Surveillance camera footage shows some of the victims were shot again at point-blank range while lying on the ground, injured by the first round of gunfire.
The suspect, arrested December 12 at a Jefferson Park apartment building, has been identified by police as Samuel Parsons-Salas, 32, of the 3900 block of North Linder Avenue, and he is facing three counts of first-degree murder degrees opposite. one count of attempted murder and one count of kidnapping, according to police.
He was recently released from prison after serving several years in connection with a deadly Albany Park home invasion.
Closure notices were posted in the Vera Lounge on Wednesday 14 December stating the following:
“The Superintendent of Police has determined that this facility poses a threat to public safety because an act of violence involving the licensee/owner or its employees, agents or patrons took place at this facility during the hours of operation of the facility, or due to other circumstances related to the operation of this facility.
“The Superintendent of Police has determined that the continued operation of this facility poses a danger to the public and has ordered its summary closure.
“The licensee/owner has the right to request in writing a probable cause hearing before the Mayor to determine whether a threat to public safety has occurred, within three business days of the notice being given. Upon written request, a probable cause hearing will be initiated within three business days of receipt of such request. A decision will be announced no later than two working days after the conclusion of the hearing.
“The Licensee/Owner shall have the right at any time during the period of closure to attempt to resume business operations at the Facility by writing to the Mayor for a Harassment Mitigation Hearing to contest whether a threat to public safety has occurred or to refute the Superintendent’s finding that the continued operation of the facility poses a danger to the public.
“Upon written request, a harassment mitigation hearing will be initiated by the mayor within five business days of receipt of such request. A decision will be announced no later than three working days after the conclusion of the hearing.”