Controversial Baltimore nightclub to close

The city liquor board has agreed to let the owner of Club Voltage keep his liquor license, reversing an earlier ruling, on the condition that he not open a bar at the same Southeast Baltimore location.

The Board of Liquor License Commissioners said Thursday that owner Louis J. Principio III could keep the potentially lucrative license as long as he does not use it at the site of the huge dance club at the Baltimore Travel Plaza on O'Donnell Street.

The board revoked the license in March after complaints about the club inside the old Greyhound bus terminal, including a Dec. 2 shooting on the dance floor. In another incident, board members said, Principio released pepper spray into a large crowd while riding on a golf cart.

But attorneys for the club and Principio came up with a counterproposal. They agreed to close Club Voltage and pay the city a $3,000 fine in exchange for the liquor license.

Liquor board chairman Stephan W. Fogleman said Principio can move the license to another location.

"Given the uncertainties of litigation," Fogleman said in an email, "the board felt that this was an acceptable resolution to the problems created at that location."

Club Voltage had been allowed to operate without selling alcohol since the board revoked the liquor license March 12.

The 12,000-square-foot club opened in October 2012 with "College Night" Thursdays that drew an under-21 crowd and "Club Life" parties on Saturdays. It charged covers as high as $15 for three bars around a dance area. The club regularly drew 800 people a night.

A voice on the club's phone message line said its weekly "College Night" event would move to Paparazzi Nightclub in the 400 block of E. Saratoga St., with no cover charge.

Principio could not be reached for comment, and his attorney, Melvin J. Kodensky, was unavailable Thursday afternoon, according to his law firm.

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