[Editor's note: Shortly after we posted it, Facebook took down video of a weekend fight at Club Roxbury citing rules against “shocking and disgusting content.” Though the video sharing site somehow forgot to take down videos of snipers in Afghanistan or executions of Jews in Nazi Germany, which somehow do not violate that rule. Here’s the video on a different platform:
Whether it was feuding families in Verona or ruthless Danish murderers, William Shakespeare knew how to bring realistic violence to the stage for action-hungry Elizabethan audiences.
So call it cosmic irony that Kentucky Shakespeare is considering buying 20 Theatre Square, the property that now houses Club Roxbury, long one of the most notoriously violent gathering spots in Louisville. (See accompanying post here.)
Employees at neighboring businesses and even police say a weekend party or concert at the Roxbury is certain to cause traffic jams at least, and at worst, unabated mayhem.
And they can prove it.
An employee at Bluegrass Brewing Co. at 66o S. Fourth St. – next to the Roxbury – gave Insider Louisville the following video of a vicious fight this weekend outside the club. (Editor’s note: The video shows a man being punched unconscious and other violence.)
A police officer in the area declined to comment, but directed Insider Louisville to this video of another fight:
People who work in the area describe a Roxbury crowd made up of would-be gangstas’ who make little effort to conceal guns and other weapons.
“The Roxbury might close?” said one restaurant employee who asked not to be named. “Thank God! Now maybe people will start to come down here on weekends.”
Lee Fetzer bar manager at BBC, said the Roxbury’s crowds invariably leave behind “a big mess. Garbage.”
People coming to the club simply pull up in the narrow section of Fourth Street in front of the club, stop their cars and indifferently block the street to other traffic, said Fetzer and other BBC employees.
The noise and traffic jams are a huge deterrent to guests at the nearby Brown Hotel, making them hesitant to cross Forth Street over to Theater Square later in the evening, Fetzer said.
“We could probably stay open a lot later on Saturday nights” if the Roxbury closed, he said.
A police presence doesn’t help, Fetzer said.
“With the police, it makes it look like something’s wrong, so that keeps (customers) away.”
The building that houses the Roxbury was even more notorious when it was Club Villa Fontana.
It was at Villa Fontana that former University of Louisville wide reciever Trent Guy was shot by two gunmen in 2008, the second shooting in 15 months.
But in its current reincarnation as Club Roxbury, say those who have to deal with it, it remains Fourth Street’s biggest problem.
“Theatre Square has great potential – from locals to visitors from abroad,” said an employee at a neighborhing restaurant. “I hate that this club and (its) clientele are screwing it all up. “