Most downtown areas welcome new businesses, but some Graceville residents have not been happy about a new club that opened downtown.
Club Rein doesn't have a liquor license or a roof. But club owner Samuel Jones has held the attention of numerous residents and the city council for some time.
After opening several months ago, the hot spot attracted 16 noise violations from the Graceville police. City Manager Eugene Adams said he didn't think the club would have caused as much controversy if it had been located further from downtown amongst churches and homes. "The building does not have a roof. Sound travels" he said.
Jones admitted the location did cause a lot of problems. "Really location is a big factor" Jones said. "Because the older clubs that's been there, they've had roofs. But now the city is going down and all these roofs are falling in and we have to deal with what we've got."
After several years of complaints, downtown Graceville has finally started to revitalize the area. But locals told us putting a club next to a church was not the step they were hoping for towards cleaning up the area.
But as Jones said, times are changing. And although some may argue that's the case, resident Kenneth Nowell told us, not if the people of Graceville could help it.
"We love our little town" Nowell said, "we want to keep it neighborly, sort of old fashion, with good principles. We just pride ourselves in living here and want to keep integrity in that."
Most people agreed the loud music was not the only problem. "They've been saying they've been drinking out here" resident Boby Ezell said. Nowell added, "[Jones] was inviting in alcoholic beverages and I just think that's a little too near the church."
But Jones told us he thought the criticism was unwarranted. "I feel like they're just pinpointing that problem because this is a bible belt community" Jones explained. The club has never been cited for serving alcohol, and according the city, they've only had one issue. "Volume of the music is my concern" Adams told us.
The club has previously been shut down for a night due to noise complaints, but has been relatively quiet for the past few weeks.