Press Releases

Council Stands Firm on Business License that Was Revoked Over a Year Ago

Denies License and Permit Requests for “Side Effects” Nightclub

Safety over economic development…That’s the message that Councilors are sending after denying resolutions relative to the applications for a Lounge Retail Liquor Class I License, Division I and Division II Dance permits to be used at Side Effects, an Adult Entertainment Club located at 400 2nd Avenue downtown, also known formerly as the Foxx Trap.

The current owner sought to reopen the venue under new management after a fatal shooting at the Foxx Trap occurred between a security guard and an off duty police officer in May of 2014, just days after Councilors voted to close it. However, that vote was overturned when the business remained open under a temporary restraining order granted in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

During discussions on the applications for liquor and dance licenses, many councilors noted the long history of complaints surrounding the previous club. Those issues coupled with the fatality that occurred in 2014 led councilors to deny the applications citing that it was too soon to grant a business license along with permits for the creation of a new adult entertainment venue.

Councilor Steven Hoyt, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, said he knows that all businesses don’t operate the same entertainment wise, but that won’t prevent his duty of being accountable to the overall safety of the citizens of Birmingham.

“It’s important to be mindful of what we as a Council consider when recognizing economic development for our city,” Councilor Hoyt said. “For too long this venue has been coupled with problems both in and outside the club and I don’t feel comfortable compromising the safety of our citizens just to bring in a new form of cash flow for this venue.”

Councilor Hoyt added that business owners have to take responsibility on how they operate within communities and not just look at the bottom line of profiting.

“There must be a process for how they (business owners) can reinstate their venue and manage it in the right conduct when these types of incidents occur. Until then, I won’t waiver in what we’ve decided today,” Councilor Hoyt said. “The safety of our citizens is always our number one concern and this is something that my colleagues and I just will not compromise.”

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry ( in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.