Demolition work had been going on in the building for two weeks prior to the Aug. 14 order to cease work, says Grace Street resident Ken Martin. Last week he wrote to the city's chief administrative officer, William Harrell, to report "jackhammer-type noises" and several Dumpsters of debris being removed from the two-story building before a building permit had been issued.
The building at 2617 W. Broad St., near the Boulevard, has become a battleground for Fan neighbors who fear a club would be a detriment to the neighborhood. City Councilman William J. "Bill" Pantele, whose 2nd District includes the former Julian's, has told Style he has no interest in seeing a nightclub there.
Sam Moore, owner of the strip club Velvet in Shockoe Bottom, is said to be the developer; the building's owner is listed in city records as P Cafe LLC, a company that shares Velvet's address of 3 S. 15th St.
Martin says he's heard that Julian's may become a restaurant instead of a nightclub, a change he says he would welcome as long as the place keeps hours similar to Julian's, which closed at 10 p.m.
The building's owner has applied for two building permits, the first on July 5 for a new restaurant. A second permit application was submitted on Aug. 17 for renovation-related work. Neither building permit has been approved, says Linwood Norman, the mayor's press secretary.
Martin says his neighbors were caught off-guard by the opening of Z2, the gay club that opened about a year ago at 2729 W. Broad St., and they don't want the same thing to happen again. He says he has no problems with "the lifestyle," just with the crime and parking problems he says accompany the nightlife.
"I don't care who goes inside the building," Martin says. "I care about what happens in my neighborhood."
City crime statistics show no hotspot of crime around Z2, but Martin says the neighborhood has seen a few recent instances of drug use and sexual activity. S