Vault owner forfeits license for live public entertainment foregoing hearing before city committee Monday | Government & Politics

The owner of a banquet hall and event space in Downtown Kenosha has forfeited its cabaret license foregoing a hearing that was to have taken place before the city’s License and Permit Committee on Monday.

Shel Parham, owner of The Vault Banquet Hall & Event Venue at 625 57th St., surrendered the license for live public entertainment, about an hour before the committee was to meet resulting in the meeting’s cancellation, according to City Administrator John Morrissey. Parham voluntarily surrendered the cabaret license, he said.

The city, in turn, is withdrawing its complaint, which had been submitted by Kenosha Police to the mayor’s office earlier this month.

“She contacted the city attorney’s office (Monday afternoon) indicating that instead of going through a public hearing that she intended to voluntarily surrender the cabaret license for the Vault,” he said.

“The Vault came to agreement with the deputy city attorney and continues to operate as normal,” Parham said in a statement to the Kenosha News. “We look forward to working with our city leaders, community and Downtown business neighbors as we work to unify this great city.”

The forfeiture comes a week after Mayor John Antaramian announced that the venue was facing a suspension and the city had temporarily withdrawn the license, with the committee prepared to address complaints that had arisen about the fatal gun violence that erupted in Downtown outside building two weeks ago.

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The venue had played host to a Nov. 6 concert with heavy security and one that continued into the early morning hours of Nov. 7. Shortly before 2 a.m., dozens of gunshots outside the banquet hall resulted in the shooting death of a Kenosha man. Marquis Wallace, 28, died at the scene and three others also suffered injuries but were treated at and released from local hospitals, according to Kenosha police.

Kenosha Police investigate an early morning shooting Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, that left one person dead and three injured. The shooting originated in the 600 block of 57th Street, but investigators marked evidence in dozens of spots scattered throughout the 700 block of 57th Street, and a portion of 56th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, as well.

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Police collected more than 70 spent rounds of evidence throughout several city blocks. According to Kenosha police, a chaotic scene resulted in dozens of officers from multiple surrounding law enforcement agencies to responding for crowd control.

Several people showed up at the city’s Municipal Building Monday afternoon, to speak at the committee meeting only to learn the hearing had been cancelled. Shortly afterward, however, Parham posted on the Vault’s Facebook page that she had surrendered the license out of safety concerns.

Parham had already canceled all live music events “for the foreseeable future” the day after the shootings occurred.

She also posted on social media the following:

“The safety and well-being of our community and downtown business neighbors has always been top priority for The Vault. As a result of recent discussions with the Deputy City Attorney of Kenosha and subsequent agreement, The Vault has decided to forfeit its Cabaret License.

“We have played host to over 170 events in just thirteen months since opening. As we continue positive dialogue with city leaders, neighbors, business partners and our community going forward, The Vault looks forward to furthering our mission and remains committed to providing a safe, welcoming event space for everyone.”

Parham thanked patrons for their “overwhelming support” and others who have continued to back the event space. All currently scheduled events at the event space would continue as scheduled, she said.

Morrissey said the Vault would no longer be able to hold live entertainment events open to the public, such as that of the Nov. 6 concert.

“She still has a liquor license and she can still continue to have weddings and (private) events like that,” Morrissey said. “A wedding could have live entertainment or a DJ, but it can’t be an event open to the general public, where they charge for (admission).”

An event, such as, the popular Public Market, which a year-round market that plays host to multiple vendors of fresh produce, artisan foods, crafts and other items, would continue operate at the Vault, according to Morrissey.

“Again, that’s not a cabaret type of issue,” he said of the market which meets indoors for the winter from November to April. However, if a vendor or the market wanted to apply for a single-day cabaret license they could, he said.

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