NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A former Norfolk nightclub that was shut down by Norfolk City Council following a quadruple shooting outside in 2022 has been denied the right to sell alcohol in its new restaurant-only form.

Council voted 6-2 on Tuesday night to deny (with Councilman JP Paige and Councilwoman Danica Royster siding with Legacy to receive the permit) to deny the permit despite multiple speakers coming out on Tuesday to support Legacy Restaurant and Bar, a Black- and veteran-owned business on E. Plume Street downtown. Legacy will now have to wait six months to reapply for the permit.

Restaurant staff say they’ve been trying out mocktails and other methods to draw in customers, but ultimately not having alcohol is affecting their ability to operate.

“Selling food is just not enough for the establishment that we have,” said owner Warren Salvadon. “… the alcohol will be able to help us with sales and to hire more employees, we’re only operating now with seven employees.”

Salvadon says he’s been doing everything he can to help win back trust with council and the community, including training and joining Norfolk’s Safe Night program.

Though Councilwoman Mamie Johnson in her decision to vote no said she doesn’t believe the restaurant’s had enough communication with council and city staff. She said it’s “deeply troubling” the owners never reached out to her, and “only go to certain councilmembers.”

“You only to people on council that you think are your friends,” Johnson said. “… you’re continuing to work in silos … you’re only talking to certain people, and you’re not talking to the right people, you’re not talking to everybody.”

Salvadon said in response he did reach out to council several times, and was told to talk to council members in his district. Councilwoman Danica Royster noted she did receive several emails from Legacy, but was advised not to respond at the time due to Legacy’s ongoing litigation against the city. Legacy dropped that appeal to reopen as a nightclub back in December 2022.

Norfolk originally pulled Legacy’s nightclub permit after four people, including a sheriff’s deputy, were shot outside in August 2022. The city had argued that Legacy didn’t have marked security that night, but Legacy’s owners insisted surveillance video from that night shows there was marked security.

Legacy was one of several nightclubs that were Black-owned or had primarily Black clientele that were shut down by city council in 2022, prompting allegations of racial bias. Council cited the potential for future violence in their decision making.