Might As Well nightclub closes following police investigation - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Owner closes Might As Well nightclub

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Coastal Carolina University first approached the solicitor's office in September to discuss their concerns based on the club's history of alcohol violations and proximity to campus. Coastal Carolina University first approached the solicitor's office in September to discuss their concerns based on the club's history of alcohol violations and proximity to campus.

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A popular nightclub on Highway 544 near the campus of Coastal Carolina University has voluntarily decided to close its doors.

That decision came as a result of conversations between the club and university officials, as well as the 15th Circuit Solicitors Office.

Coastal Carolina University first approached the solicitor's office in September to discuss their concerns based on the club's history of alcohol violations and proximity to campus.

At first they were seeking nuisance action, but no legal action was taken. The owners of the property made the decision to close the club, forcing the operators to shut down.

Chief David Roper, director of CCU's Office of Public Safety, states, "Our role is to ensure that businesses that are patronized by our students follow the rules. CCU will not hesitate to seek enforcement of all state nuisance laws when necessary."

Roper says the closure is a big step toward making the CCU campus more safe.

"[Might as Well] has attributed to a lot of underage drinking calls, vandalism calls in the neighborhood, DUI's and also a lot of fights," Roper says.

Roper says CCU police, along with Conway Police, Horry County Police and SLED, spent more than a year investigating Might as Well, including a number of undercover operations. During their investigations, CCU Police were called to the property 57 times since September 11th of 2011.  

Since 2010, Undercover CCU police officers discovered eight minors either drinking or purchasing alcohol on Might as Well property. Roper says in one instance alone, law enforcement discovered 25 fake IDs left behind by Might as Well customers at the bar. Roper says that, combined with evidence from other police agencies, was enough to try and have the property legally deemed a nuisance and shut down. But Roper says the owner of the property stepped in to close the business to avoid legal action.

CCU President David A. DeCenzo credits the Solicitor's Office for its prompt response and cooperation, and the property owner for recognizing the seriousness of the issues involved.

Some students say they will miss the bar, but others, like CCU Freshman Navarro Hillian say they think the campus is better off without it.

"I don't think it was a good place for the freshmen here, especially to start early drinking," Hillian says.

WMBF News contacted the bar operator's attorney, but so far have not a received a response to phone calls. A sign on Might as Well's front door reads: "Valued customers: Temporarily closed for restructuring."

Roper says the building will remain empty unless the property owner makes an agreement with another tenant to open a business that does not involve the sale of alcohol.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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