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Lansing investigator recommends revoking venue's cabaret license

Ryan Cabell, owner of the Energy Event Center, advocates on behalf of his business in front of the city council during the August 14th committee of the whole meeting.
Michelle Jokisch Polo
Ryan Cabell, owner of the Energy Event Center, advocates on behalf of his business in front of the city council during the August 14th Committee of the Whole meeting.

An investigator has recommended that Lansing’s City Council revoke a venue's cabaret license following safety concerns.

In July, five people were shot and injured in a parking lot outside of the Energy Event Center in the Logan Square shopping center. City officials alleged the venue’s owner didn’t do enough to keep the area safe and pushed for a hearing to consider revoking his cabaret license.

Lansing Human Resources Director Elizabeth O’Leary oversaw that hearing. At Monday’s council meeting, she read from her report, concluding the venue was responsible for patrons’ safety and failed to prevent the violence.

“Multiple people were tragically injured in the early morning hours of July 30, 2023," O'Leary said. "In light of the ordinance language, testimony and evidence submitted during the hearing, I recommend that the City Council revoke the cabaret license held by Energy Events Center.”

Several members of the public defended owner Ryan Cabell and urged the council to hold off on revoking his permit. They said the city should station more police officers outside the venue when events are happening, arguing the city already does that outside of bars in Lansing's Stadium District where incidents of violence have occurred.

During the meeting, Cabell held up an image of the license document in front of the council. He said the city had escalated the issue too quickly, pointing to the city's guidelines on cabarets that call for written warnings before revoking a license.

Cabell said he wanted to work with the city to prevent gun violence.

“Let’s work together, but let’s go by protocol and the law," Cabell said. "Give me a warning. It won’t happen again, but give me a warning.”

With two members absent, the council tabled the issue, so the full group could weigh in on the license at its meeting next week.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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