Augusta's Cloud Nine closed after surrendering license to operate

City officials said it was a nuisance bar

Cloud Nine Neighborhood Bar & Grill enjoyed nearly a two-year run in the former Shoney’s on Wrightsboro Road, but today the establishment’s doors are closed.

Proprietor Shalanda Y. Crawford surrendered her license to operate the restaurant at 3156 Wrightsboro Road three days before Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and planning officials planned to present information about trouble at the establishment to the Augusta Commission’s Public Service Committee on Feb. 27.

Deputies tallied 148 incidents at Cloud Nine between April and February, including 11 reports of loud music or partying, 19 verbal altercations, more than 60 reports of suspicious people, vehicles or situations and at least 15 reports of underage consumption, according to data from the sheriff’s office.

The establishment, licensed only to operate as a restaurant with full bar and Sunday alcohol sales, was not operating “in the true sense of a typical restaurant, but that of a nightclub,” Sgt. Richard Elim of the sheriff’s vice division told city officials.

“While operating as such, it primarily marketed itself to the under-21 age group,” Elim said.

The action comes a few weeks after Patrick Walton was charged with misleading officials when he obtained a certificate of occupancy to operate a mercantile called Magic City. Actually a Mike Padgett Highway teen club, Magic City was operating illegally when a 16-year-old was killed there Jan. 16, city officials have said.

Moreover, in an audit of Cloud Nine conducted based on suspicions dating back to July that it was more a bar and dance club than a restaurant, “there were several attempts to alter sales numbers and include unreliable information,” Elim said.

The planning and development office recommended Feb. 23 that the city revoke, suspend or place on probation Cloud Nine’s license for code violations including alcohol sales to minors, operating a dance hall without a permit and failure to supervise the parking lot.

Licensing director Rob Sherman said he asked the Public Service Committee to pull the action against Cloud Nine after Crawford turned in the license Feb. 24.

Crawford, who hasn’t returned The Augusta Chronicle’s requests for comment, is becoming a nonmajority partner in a new endeavor at the restaurant as she pursues what Sherman said was a career in education.

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