'I am heartbroken': Owner of Third Ward club responds to city's attempt to shut it down

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The owner of a Third Ward nightclub said that hearing members of his community call his business a "nuisance" is heartbreaking.

Eric Spivey, the owner of Spivey's Uptown at the intersection of Ennis and Blodgett, stood alongside his attorneys and dozens of members of the community to announce they will fight the city's efforts to close the club.

Last week, police said a fight spilled out of the nightclub and five people were shot in the street.

SEE ALSO: 5 people shot when bar fight in Third Ward spills into parking lot

Days later, members of the community called an emergency meeting with Mayor Sylvester Turner and Chief Troy Finner to call for change in regards to clubs and bars in the area. They said they are at a "crisis and tipping point" due to the crime.

"If Mr. Spivey and Spivey's Uptown had known or had any inclination that this type of problem would have arisen, these types of people would have never made it past the front door," Spivey's attorney, Jason Johnson said. "They didn't invite this type of behavior. They didn't invite this type of violence."

SEE ALSO: Third Ward neighbors say crime at 'crisis and tipping point' after mid-week shooting

Since then, Turner and the city of Houston filed a nuisance lawsuit against the club and are seeking a temporary injunction to have the club shut down.

"To try to shut down something that is amazing to the community - I am heartbroken," Spivey said.

He and his attorneys plan to fight the lawsuit to keep the club's doors open. They said it is unfair to pinpoint the club specifically when talking about an increase in crime.

"We asked them to create an open floor forum to come here and see what Spivey's Uptown is about," Spivey's brother, Desmond said. "You can't do that from sitting in an office. We asked the mayor to have an open floor forum and actually learn about these individuals, everyone here. We voted. I voted for him. He owes us that right. Before you make statements, before you put out misleading information, make sure you have clarification on that."

MacGregor Super Neighborhood Alliance's Tomaro Bell, who called the press conference Monday, did not want to comment.

Turner issued the following statement to ABC13 following Fridays' news conference:

"There were five people shot at Spivey's - at his place of business and there were other incidents at his place of business. We look forward to addressing these concerns in court."

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