By Niki D’Andrea
It hasn’t been a very good year for Sky Lounge. The popular downtown dance club made news headlines in May, when a group of men leaving the club got into a fight outside the building that escalated into a shooting, leaving one man injured and another dead.
And last week, Sky Lounge was shut down by inspectors from the City of Phoenix’s Neighborhood Services Department for building code violations. What those specific violations were is unclear; we’ve made a public records request to City Clerk David Ramirez, and Sky Lounge owner Ivan Padilla says, “We had problems with the construction codes -- a lot of electrical issues, walls that didn’t fit the permit, stuff like that.”
Padilla says the city didn’t levy any fines; they just issued citations and closed Sky Lounge until Padilla can bring the building up to code. “We are closed until we get the blueprints from the city, hire a contractor to come out and do the work, and then the city will inspect the place and we’ll reopen,” Padilla says. “We’re about halfway done already, though.”
A neighboring club, Silver, is also closed (allegedly for building code violations, too), but we’ve been unable to contact a representative of the club.
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Sky Lounge and Silver aren’t the first downtown clubs to get hit with citations from the city for code and permit violations. This month, city officials closed the second floor of Homme Lounge in central Phoenix because the staircase leading to the upper level was too narrow and steep to meet safety codes. In April, both Alice Cooper’stown and the Brickhouse Theater were inspected by city officials and cited for a variety of violations. Cooper’stown was ordered to immediately cease all live shows at the venue and close down the fabled “Dungeon” area where performers hung out, while the Brickhouse was allowed to continue hosting shows and given 60-days to comply with code.
The Brickhouse still hosts shows an average of four nights a week, but Cooper’stown is in the process of rebuilding its stage and doesn’t expect to host any lives shows until next year. Both establishments have full restaurants, so chances are, they’ll be just fine. As for the newer Club Silver, we’re hoping to get a prognosis from the owners soon.
Sky Lounge owner Ivan Padilla doesn’t view his club’s temporary closure as a bad omen at all. In fact, he says people are clamoring to come back. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people waiting for us to reopen,” he says.
Padilla says he hopes to reopen Sky Lounge the weekend of July 5.