Protestors Speak Out Against Former Centennial Hill Bar and Grill

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By Ashley Thompson

Protestors came to tonight's City Council meeting  to speak out against the possible re-opening of the former Centennial Hill Bar and Grill. Two weeks ago, the council voted against allowing someone to rent the building out... because it doesn't have a sprinkler system. 
Now some say they don't want the former club to reopen as another nightclub

The man who owns the building says he's been trying to sell it for months but he says no one was interested in buying it. Now someone is interested in renting it from him...to use as a rental hall for birthdays and other events but there are many people against that idea.

Three mothers who lost their kids in a shooting at the former Centennial Hill Bar and Grill came to Montgomery's city council meeting Tuesday night to protest the facility being reopened as a rental hall. The building has sat empty and unused since the city closed it, after a shooting killed their three children and injured several others late last year.

"I was just devastated," says Shirley Thomas of the news to possibly reopen the building. "That can't happen, not as long as I'm living. That's not going to happen."

Thomas lost her son Glenn Thomas, also known as rapper Doe B, in the December shooting and says she doesn't want to see the building host another party.

"We are against it opening up to be another club, any type of facility that sells liquor and alcohol."

Alabama News Network was allowed inside the former Centennial Hill Bar and Grill. The owner, Richard 'Squirrel' Thomas, says he's renovated the place. He didn't want to speak on camera but Thomas tells us he needs to lease the building out to make money. He says he's disappointed the city will not allow him to do so.

"I don't want to relive history but you just look back at the history of that and there's been a consistent owner," says Montomery Mayor Todd Strange. "I know his intentions are good but you've also got to police who you rent it to and what you're renting it for."

And others say they will continue to protest the building being used for entertainment purposes.

"We are not against them having a business or something there that is going to be beneficial and help out the community but having an alcoholic establishment and having a place like a club, bar and grill, we're 100 percent against that," says Jamel Brown.

So what do the want this building to be? Many of them say a church would be nice or maybe a soup kitchen.

 

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