Controversial Downtown Club Taking Heat Following Violence

December 11, 2011

By Justin James
VCU InSight

RICHMOND, Va.– Located in the middle of Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom, “Have A Nice Day Cafe” hasn’t been living up to its name. 

There are constant reports of fights outside of its walls, causing increased violence. However, perhaps the most concerning is the recent October murder of Justin R. Morgan, 22, in its parking lot. It’s the second shooting outside of the club in less than two years.

Debate over whether or not the club should remain open has reached new heights through social media. Competing Facebook pages both supporting and condemning the club have both received support.

The Facebook page “Close Have A Nice Day Cafe” was started by VCU Alum Mac McCormack in response to Morgan’s death. He is the owner of McCormack’s pub, located about a block away from the club. It has ten times as many supporters as the opposing page.

These supporters of the page to close the club include Daryle Brown, a bartender at nearby Barcode. She says she was inspired to join the page after seeing the owners take a lack of responsibility for what was happening at their club.

“They didn’t put anything out there that seemed to indicate they were willing to work with anyone on the issues, they completely seemed to present themselves as denying anything to do with the violence, any effect on the violence,” said Brown.

In mid-November, Have a Nice Day was brought up on their fifth administrative charge from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. If they are found guilty of the charges, they could face a large fine or be forced to stop selling alcohol.

Richmond’s prosecutor recently said he would not work to close the club.