At least 14 neighborhood groups signed a petition in protest of Far West nightclub’s application to renew its liquor license. But the Lakewood Neighborhood Association is not one of them.

Neighbors say the club, on Gaston Avenue, adjacent to the White Rock YMCA, is a nuisance. Club-goers park on their streets and return to their cars drunk after 2 a.m. Neighbors are confronted with littered beer bottles, vandalism and even public urination. And the club’s parking lot sometimes becomes a battleground for drunks armed with guns and broken bottles.

So two East Dallas lawyers, Delores and Daniel Wolfe, volunteered their time to file a letter with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, protesting renewal of the club’s liquor license, which expires in December. Read more about that in the May Advocate.

Fourteen neighborhood associations and crime watch groups, plus the Ferguson Road Initiative, signed the petition. So why did the Lakewood Neighborhood Association’s board vote against signing?

It is not, as some neighbors have suggested, because they accepted money from the Far West Club. To be clear: The Lakewood Neighborhood Association has never accepted a donation from Far West or anyone associated with it, says association president Alex Winslow, who checked with the association’s treasurer just to be sure.

Their reasons for declining the petition are not scandalous. They’re practical. The association’s board thinks the petition could do more harm than good.

“We feel that if their liquor license is revoked, then perhaps the operator will choose to run it as a BYOB establishment, which is way worse than having an establishment that is more regulated,” Winslow says. “The problems we have now will pale in comparison.”

The Lakewood Neighborhood Association’s own Henda Salmeron is the one who crusaded against the club in 2008. She and others were successful in getting the club’s 99-year dance-hall permit changed to a 5-year permit. And that permit expires in the first half of 2013.

“We’ve won this game,” Winslow says. “All we’ve got to do is let the clock run out here.”


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