MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A Mobile nightclub where a young woman was allegedly kidnapped from the parking lot is making some changes, according to the club’s owner.
Starting immediately, Troubadours will now only allow those 21 and older to enter. According to their Facebook page, they were previously open for people 19 and older.
The owner, Chris Sherman, said he made the changes to try to help his customers feel safe.
The changes come after Mobile police say an 18-year-old was allegedly taken by a man from the parking lot early Friday morning. The teenager was later located at the University of South Alabama. Morris Linson, Jr., 34, was arrested in Escambia County Florida, charged with kidnapping.
“We are sympathetic to the victim,” said Sherman. “We hate that it happened to her.”
Troubadours wrote multiple statements since the incident on their social media channels. Their first, on Instagram, was more defensive about the incident. Sherman said that was in response to false statements about the incident. He said he realized it didn’t come off the way he wanted, and later re-worded, and saying they were listening to those with concerns about safety for those inside the venue.
Monday night, Sherman posted they would be changing the age of those allowed inside to only 21 and up. He said they are also putting up posters encouraging responsible drinking, and that they will be putting up information for women to discreetly alert bartenders if they feel unsafe.
“We feel like we already had a pretty good plan in place to avoid these types of things. Obviously there’s always ways to improve. I really care about our customers, I care about what the community thinks, and if there’s things we should be doing better or differently, then I’m always open to discuss,” said Sherman.
WKRG News 5 reached out to the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to see if there have been complaints against the club before for underage drinking. ABC spokesperson Daniel Dye said they have received complaints this year that the location was selling alcohol to minors. ABC sent those complaints to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.
Sherman admits they do have complaints, but he said those are mostly from other bars. He said they work hard at making sure there is no underage drinking at his business.
“I won’t sit here and say we never have underage drinking, no, because if someone wants to do something, they’re going to go ahead and do it,” Sherman said. “All we can do is react once we find it, throw those people out, ban them, call parents.”
Sherman said ABC has been in his bar to investigate complaints, never finding evidence of underage drinking.
“As far as the ABC goes, the ABC when they get a complaint on a business, they have to come out and follow up on it,” said Sherman. “They have done that probably six times in the last year, come in with four or five guys to investigate, and not once have we gotten a ticket. Because not once when they’ve come in have we had underage drinking.”
Sherman said he’s trying to create a safer environment for his patrons after last week’s events.
“Our eyes are open,” Sherman said. “We’re going to go over and beyond to try and make sure it would never happen again.”
We are waiting to hear back from ALEA about the status of those complaints of underage drinking. The ABC Board said they do not have any citations for the establishment in their records.