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Winchester Road men's club closes in response to gun violence

THE OFFICE.jpg
Posted at 9:13 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 23:12:29-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The owner of The Office Men's Club on Winchester Road has closed the business in response to recent gun violence in the area.

Since April, Lexington police have responded to three fatal shootings in the 900 block of Winchester Road, according to previous LEX 18 reporting.

Chris Korras said he's owned the business for less than four months and has closed temporarily after each shooting. Now, he said, he's decided to close permanently.

"I didn't know I was walking into this so I'm trying to see what the best thing is from now on," Korras said.

Neighbors believe the gun violence is tied to the late-night crowds the club attracts.

Last week, several community members raised concerns about The Office at a meeting with Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government 5th District Councilmember Liz Sheehan, Lexington Police Lt. Jeff Jackson, and Director of Code Enforcement Alex Olszowy.

While Korras doesn't believe each shooting was associated with his business, he said he understands the concerns.

"It's terrible because if I was a neighbor I would feel the same way," he said.

He hired security guards to prevent crowds from gathering outside and has worked with police to prevent violence, he said, but ultimately he's decided closing is the best option for now.

"Maybe it's time to either try to sell it or try to see what else I can do," he said.

He's considering re-opening with a new concept, he said, like an 80's club.

The closure is a step in the right direction, said Lexington Mechanical Services Owner Fred Roser, who has a building down the block from The Office.

Roser has complained about trash left behind by crowds and he wants to see that portion of Winchester Road re-vamped.

"It's gonna take some time," he said. "I don't think it's an overnight issue."

Korras said he wants neighbors to know he's trying to do the right thing.

"I want a safe environment," he said.