Take a look at the crowd picture posted just below. This is the type of business David Anderson’s bar Social Junkie is doing on Sundays on Washington Avenue.
Anderson says, “we have been targeted for having too many people in our establishment.”
Anderson admits he may have had too many customers in his business. A business that may be too much for residents in the area on a Sunday. But Anderson wonders why he and the only other African American owned bar in the Washington Avenue corridor have been singled out.
He says, “we’re not the only bar on Washington Avenue that has exceeded occupancy but we’re the only bar to have the fire Marshal come shut us down for occupancy.”
We also spoke with Mark Martin who is an events promoter. He says, “the word on the street is they were called to come to our location to basically shut us down for the day.”
Martin also has a Sunday event in the Washington Avenue area at the other African American owned bar.
He was also shut down by the Houston fire marshal Sunday. The same group of investigators who left Social Junkie and then followed the crowd down Washington Avenue to Martin’s event. Coincidence or is the agency being used as a business killer by competition?
Martin says, “there are various rumors going around why we were shutdown and perhaps who was calling to get us shut down but what we do know for sure is we were targeted in that particular situation.”
We requested the names or numbers of individuals who filed complaints on the businesses from the Houston Fire Department. HFD has yet to release detailed information.
Martin believes the city’s fire marshals are being used like puppets to roll them out off the Washington Avenue area.
The fire department issued this statement:
“The Fire Marshal’s Office responded to a complaint call. We respond to all complaint calls for public safety. Social Junkie was in violation of the Houston Fire Code for overcrowding placing its occupants in harm’s way. The complaint call originated from HPD through our Office of Emergency Communication (OEC). The FMO responded appropriately.”
Richard W. Galvan
Houston Fire Department