NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk City Council has denied a request from a Granby Street business seeking to renew its permit to operate as a nightclub.
Council voted Tuesday night against the new conditional use permit for Caior Bistro & Social, a Black-owned business located at 727 Granby Street in the NEON District.
The CUP would have allowed Caior to stay open until 2 a.m. and have DJs. A presentation during a council informal session on November 29, shows the business actually applied to only operate from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., a closing time two hours earlier than their previous permit.
The move comes after council revoked the same permits for several downtown area businesses this year, citing the possibility for future violence after multiple high-profile shootings downtown in 2022.
City leaders have also had concerns for Caior, which information online shows opened as a restaurant in 2021. The business announced back in September it was temporarily closing for renovations and other changes, as its previous CUP expired, the city said.
Attorney Stephen Heretick spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting and sought a continuance on the vote to January, saying council had received “inaccurate” material about police calls of service allegedly to Caior’s address. He said he thought he’d cleared information up at a previous planning commission meeting.
Heretick said the calls, which included reports of a shooting and a stabbing, were actually to areas nearby such as an adjacent city-owned parking lot. He said at least two times the business wasn’t open when police were called.
A colleague who also spoke said they would use the Freedom of Information Act in the meantime to get detailed police reports to clear the record. The colleague said “police have never been inside this establishment, they’ve never been called to this establishment.”
Councilwoman Andria McClellan said she understood what Heretick was saying about the calls of service. However she said she was more concerned about the restaurant’s business practices.
“I’m very troubled about the ownership going back and forth … it’s very strange. Business entities were dissolved, and then the CUP was created for one, and then another was dissolved, and another was picked up. It’s very, it’s not good practice,” McClellan said in voting against the continuance. She also voted joined in voting no for the CUP resolution.
It’s now unclear what Caior will do going forward. Other Norfolk businesses who’ve had their CUP permits revoked have remained closed, but California Burrito on Granby Street stayed open as just a restaurant and not a nightclub.
WAVY reached out to both Caior and Heretick for comment on Tuesday night. Heretick said he’d have comment on Wednesday if possible.
Another nightclub whose permit was revoked, Legacy Lounge, officially ended their appeal process with the city this week.