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Owner of Turnt Lounge defends legality of after-hours hangout

A shooting last weekend outside an after-hours lounge led ABC-7 to research the laws about alcohol at BYOB establishments.

According to police, 32 year-old Greg Alford was shot near the Turnt Lounge, just before 5 a.m. on Sunday on the 4000 block of Thompkins at Nations near Dyer Street in North-Central El Paso. Alford suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The Turnt Lounge is open Saturday and Sunday mornings from 2 to 5 a.m. The owner said he charges a $5 cover and doesn’t sell alcohol. He says he’s within the rules. But is he?

“People came out, they came over here, started partying, started fighting and shooting went off,” a woman, whose mother lives near the Turnt Lounge and did not want to be identified told ABC-7. “They get literally kicked out and they want to continue partying so they just find it easy to cross the street and keep doing it.”

She said her mother is fed up with the after-hours partying.

“For a lounge, we’ve done the research,” Turnt Lounge owner Danny Coleman told ABC-7. “You can’t sell any liquor. You can’t even give them liquor. So what we do is BYOB (bring your own bottle/beer). You bring your own, you come in the lounge, you pay five bucks to get in, sit down, listen to the music, bring your lady and you kick your feet up.”

Coleman said the shooting on Sunday morning was not in his parking lot.

“Cops say somebody got shot in my parking lot, which is not true,” Coleman said. “They didn’t find any shell casings in my parking lot, or no blood. So how did this man get shot in my parking lot? From what I heard, he got shot in the streets.”

Coleman told ABC-7 he never has any problems inside the lounge. It’s outside the lounge, with people coming and driving by the lounge after hours and checking it out, where the problem is. He says it’s something he’s having a hard time controlling.

“That’s the issue,” Coleman said. “I’m going to have a meeting with my security and what we’re going do is, if you’re not coming in, you’re going to have to keep going, because all this circling around out here, with all that parking lot drama, that’s what is causing the problem.”

The TABC told ABC-7 public drinking must cease at 2 a.m., even in a BYOB establishment. If Turnt Lounge charges a cover, TABC officials say that makes them subject to the law.

When ABC-7 told Coleman that, he said he doesn’t always charge a cover.

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