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Lansing City Council votes to revoke South Lansing venue’s cabaret license

Ryan Cabell stands at the podium before the City Council, with lights directed towards the councilmembers seated on an elevated dais.
Arjun Thakkar
Ryan Cabell stands before the City Council and asks the group to give him a warning instead of revoking his cabaret license.

Updated on September 25, 2023 at 3:12 PM EDT

The Lansing City Council is revoking the cabaret license of a South Lansing venue after an incident of gun violence occurred this summer in the center's parking lot.

Councilmembers voted five-to-three Monday to revoke the Energy Event Center’s cabaret license. The vote was contentious as the group heard from several community members who voiced support for the owner, Ryan Cabell.

Ward 3 Councilmember Adam Hussain, who represents the area where the shooting occurred, said he was torn over the vote. He ultimately supported the license removal, calling Cabell a "solid business owner" but said it was too much of a risk for the business to operate in the Logan Square shopping center, which he called "a problem property."

“Is he ever going to be able to keep people safe in that space," Hussain said. "Because should we not revoke and one more young person get shot at that location, that is literally blood on our hands, and that’s where I’m struggling.”

Five people were shot in a parking lot outside the venue in July. Officials said Cabell could have done more to prevent the incident.

Ward 4 Councilmember Brian Jackson voted against the resolution. He said the city should have an option between denying a business a license to operate and doing nothing.

“We’re going straight for it because the underlying political message or the underlying thing is that this is gonna address gun violence, and I’m not sure it is,” Jackson said.

Councilmembers Jackson, Peter Spadafore and Patricia Spitzley voted against revoking the license.

The city is also asking a court to declare Logan Square a public nuisance to combat illicit activity on the property. If the city were to prevail, the property would be put into receivership. That would place it in the hands of a third-party receiver who could crack down on illegal activity and make improvements to the space.

Corrected: September 25, 2023 at 3:12 PM EDT
Peter Spadafore's last name was previously spelled as Spadafor. This error has been corrected.
Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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